Monday, January 25, 2010

Molasses gets a makeover.

What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word "molasses"?

Okay, besides rum, what's the first thing you think of? 

Me?  I think old fashioned.  Dinah Shore.  Shoofly pie.  This lady.

It's 2010.  Time for a makeover, grandma.  Burn those Skip Bo cards while you're at it, too.

It's no secret that the addition of chocolate to most recipes can mean wonderful, diet-destroying things.  Adding it to gingerbread cookies?  It'll knock your saddle shoes right off.

Courtesy of Martha "I'm Not Human, I'm a Domestic Robot, like Rosie in the Jetsons" Stewart.

Here's what you'll need:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
7 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Alright, let's do this.

Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes.

By the way, grating ginger is up there with chopping onions.  I can't stand doing either.  My coworker let me in on a really useful tip:  freeze your ginger before using it.  It's easier to grate and less messy.  Thanks Helen!  You rock.

Add the brown shugga.  Now whip it.

Add molasses.  Whip it good.

In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons of boiling water. 

Beat half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture.

Beat in baking soda mixture then the remaining half of flour mixture.  Chop chocolate into 1/4 inch chunks and mix in.  If you have a bag of Old Faithfuls on hand, you can use those instead.

Turn your dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. 

Pat the big, honking mound of dough out to about a 1 inch thickness.

Pat pat pat.

Seal it up snugly in the plastic wrap.

Throw it (figuratively) into the fridge and let it chill (literally) until it's firm, about 2 hours.

While you wait, have a beer.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA.  If you're a fan of their Pale Ale (one of the original and most well-known domestic craft beers), you'll adore Torpedo. 

Alright, back to baking.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 

Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. 

After taking this pic, I flattened them slightly with the heel of my hand so that I could get a more traditional "cookie-shaped" cookie.

Refrigerate for 20 more minutes.  Gotta keep those babies firm!

Roll each cookie in granulated sugar.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the surfaces crack slightly.

Let them cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Oh man.  These smell heavenly.

Welcome to the future, old fashioned molasses. 


  1. Only the BEST cookies I've tasted in a million years! My advice, eat them warm. The combo of gingerbread with melty chocolate goodness is HEAVENLY. For those who do not like molasses/gingerbread cookies, this will change your mind. Thank you, Ali. Perfecto.

  2. They sound tasty as all get out and I'm not a ginger anything fan unless Canada Dry is involved. Hey Jonathan, so is the blogstress! Oh and, yeah, thanks, Helen. ;) (Dinah Shore?! Ali, you would've loooovveed growing up in the 70's!)

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