My husband just finished the batch of chocolate chip cookies I made for him last week, using this recipe, except with walnuts, so it was my turn for a cookie.
I wanted a molasses ginger cookie that used fresh rather than dried ginger and cardamom instead of cloves, and of course I wasn’t going to find such a cookie on the web, at least not easily, so I looked around for the best one to alter to my purposes. I also didn’t want the typical cookie that uses only 1/4 cup of molasses and relies on other dried spices for the flavor. I like the molasses flavor, especially up against fresh ginger. Eventually I found this interesting recipe on the molasses product site, but felt that it went too far in using 1.5 cups of molasses! Wow, that’s a lot. In addition, the 4 cups of flour seemed like it would make a dry cookie, and I wanted a soft cookie that wasn’t heavy. So the changes began:
- I cut the molasses to 1 cup and used 1/4 cup of agave syrup instead of sugar.
- I cut the flour to 3 cups, but added 1 cup of ground walnuts to make up the bulk needed for all that liquid sugar. The walnuts also add a nice depth of flavor, especially as the cookies age.
- I cut out the cloves (which give me heartburn) and added 1 tablespoon of finely ground fresh ginger and 1 teaspoon of cardamom to the already listed 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
- I used butter instead of vegetable shortening, and I rolled balls of the dough in sparkling decorating sugar, which adds a nice crunch around the soft cookie.
Sparkling Molasses Ginger Cookies
Preheat oven to 350°; line baking sheets with parchment paper.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted (I think you could work with room temperature butter, too)
1 cup molasses, unsulphured
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 tablespoon finely ground fresh ginger (sold conveniently in tubes in the produce section)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ground walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Decorating sugar for rolling
- Combine melted or room temperature butter and sugars in mixing bowl. Beat in egg and ginger.
- Combine dry ingredients and mix into liquid ingredients. The dough will be soft and shiny and pliable, but not sticky. If the dough is too soft to hold a ball shape, refrigerate for a half hour or so until the butter sets up.
- Roll dough into balls about the size of large walnuts. Carefully roll in decorating sugar and place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. They spread some, but not like a flat cookie. I like to put only 6 cookies on a sheet at a time, but you should be able to fit more in.
- Bake at 350° for 15 minutes and remove to cooling rack. Store in airtight containers.
These might be my new favorite cookie, next to a buttery shortbread. They are spicy and sweet without being overpowering. If you have people in your family who don’t like spice cookies, they might like these.