There are few things I love more than the holiday season.
From Thanksgiving through Christmas I exist for puffy-vest weather, strings of white lights, and mass quantities of butter softening on my kitchen counter. It’s a problem, really.
I haven’t fallen down the pumpkin spice rabbit hole but I never met a gingery, cinnamony baked good I didn’t want to stuff my purse full of. Over my increasingly-festive years I tried a dozen or so different ginger spiced cookie recipes and they were all good, but none great. Some were too hard, some too flavorless; but then these guys came into my life…
For the last three years I’ve been making these cookies by the boatload. My neighbors get them. My friends get them. My husband eats them by the palmful like they’re popcorn. They’re just the right amount of soft and crunchy and once I modified the original recipe, had enough ginger to make the back of your throat itch a little. Mmmmm…tastes like Christmas.
Soft Holiday Ginger Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves (*I’ve left these out before – they’re not essential to the recipe)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 tbsp. water
1/4 cup molasses (*This IS essential! Don’t leave it out!)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer cream together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the egg and water, then molasses.
2. Mix together your dry ingredients: flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. A bit at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low speed until just combined. (Optional step: Put the batter in the fridge for an hour or so to harden up a bit before rolling into balls.)
3. Put the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Using your hands, roll balls of dough about 1.5″ in diameter then place in the sugar. Roll balls to coat with a sugar ‘crust.’ Place the cookies about 2″ apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes. You should get about 40 or so cookies out of this recipe.
Note: Watch these guys closely…they’ll overbake in a snap! As soon as the sugar crust starts to crack a bit pull them out and let stand for no more than 3-5 minutes on the baking sheet. From there, move to a cooling rack. Santa hates tough, brittle ginger cookies.