Sparkling Molasses Ginger Cookies

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

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Liquid ingredients:

  • 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)
  • 1 egg

Dry ingredients:

  • 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

  1. Combine melted or room temperature butter and sugars in mixing bowl. Beat in egg and ginger.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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