This Christmas, I’ve already gotten the beautiful gift of a trip down memory lane and into the kitchen with my mom. Just like the Christmases I used to know as a little girl, we baked these cookies together. Just like I mentioned in this post, I got to roll the cookies in sugar and place them on the baking sheet. It was so, so perfect.
That family time is special, cherished, and all too rare. So this year, I’m stepping away from the blog until the new year. I’m taking some time to focus on the family and friends that are such incredible and irreplaceable blessings in my life. I’ll be making sure I cook with them, laugh with them, and tell them all, one by one, just how special they are to me.
So readers, you are all so special to me. It boggles my mind that you all stop by this little space with any type of regularity just to see what I’m talking about and what I’ve cooked. Your comments make me smile, especially when I hear that you’ve made one of my recipes and shared it with your families. To me, that is the ultimate compliment.
In this spirit, I’m sharing these cookies for #BloggersforSandyHook. As one of the sweet kiddos at my school realized during a class discussion of the events in Connecticut, so many of those parents must feel so sad when they walk into their living rooms and see a tree with presents beneath it they’ll never get to give to their sweet children. Hearing a ten-year-old make this realization and feel such compassion and empathy was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. I know these cookies can’t bring back any of those heroic educators or sweet babies, but, in a situation that make me feel so helpless, they’re something small I can do.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you. I hope you’ll all remember to tell your loved ones just how much they mean to you.
Molasses Spice Cookies
slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen: Christmas Cookies
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
12 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 c. granulated sugar, plus 1/2 c. for rolling
1/3 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. molasses
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients, flour through salt, and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, 1/3 c. granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl the beat in egg yolk and vanilla until combined. Beat in molasses until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture slowly until combined, about 30 seconds. (Dough will be soft.) Cover bowl and refrigerate dough 30 minutes.
4. Spread remaining 1/2 c. sugar in a shallow dish. Working with 2 TBSP dough at a time, roll into balls then roll in sugar to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches space between balls.
5. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, but centers are still soft and puffy, 10-12 minutes. Rotate halfway through baking time. Let cookies cool, still on the sheet, on wire racks for 10 minutes. Serve warm or remove and place directly on the rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container 3-4 days.