Archive for December, 2011

Holiday Baking

December 19, 2011

For me the holiday season means lots and lots of baking; growing up we would always start baking cookies the day after Thanksgiving. We made a wide variety including monster cookies, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, spritz cookies and my personal favorite, molasses spice cookies. All of them looked festive in one way or another, topped with sprinkles, dyed sugar or red and green M&M’s. All of the cookies would be stored in the freezer and towards the end of December we would pull them all out and make plates of cookies for teachers and friends, finishing the plates off with mini candy canes, Hershey kisses or mini Reese’s cups.

I still love giving out cookies to this day, it’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions. But since I can’t send cookies to everyone I wanted to at least share my favorite holiday cookie recipe with you!

Molasses Spice Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for dipping
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 2-1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mix dry ingredients and set aside.

Beat butter with white and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Next add molasses, mix well. Reduce speed and gradually add in dry ingredients. Once fully incorporated, dough will seem very soft but don’t add any additional flour.

Refrigerate for at least a couple hours, preferably over night.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Pour some extra sugar or sprinkles into a bowl. Scoop large tablespoons of dough and roll between palms into balls. Roll tops of dough balls in the sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes, until cookies are browned, still puffy, cracked on top and the edges have begun to set but center is still soft.

I always use Grandma’s dark molasses, it’s the best of the best and I like to put it on my pancakes too!

Every time I make these cookies it makes my kitchen smell like Christmas and it takes me back to those fun times baking cookies with my mom :)

I also tried a new twist on my typical sugar cookie log today; red and white swirl! It wasn’t easy to do but I still believe it’s less hassle than using cookie cutters. I divided the dough into two equal portions, added red food dye to one half, rolled each dough ball out into same-sized rectangles, put one on top of the other and then rolled it up into a log.

All of these festive cookies are going on a big platter to Mark’s coworkers tomorrow!