I hate February.
It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s rainy. It’s unbelievably busy for me at work. It has Valentine’s Day (which I don’t loathe, but I would surely be less irked if my Valentine were here instead of off in sunny SoCal). It makes my mood plummet.
At least it’s short. And my dad was born in February… so that’s something.
But, rather than bitch about how much I hate this month, I’m going to give you a recipe.
Now, I thought I was making gingerbread cookies. And well, back in December when Aussie and I cut cute little ginger-boys and -girls, I thought they were gingerbread. But when I finally got around to baking the second half of the dough (holed away in my freezer!), and decided it would be fun to make the cookies round and dip them in sugar… well, then they became molasses cookies.
Is there anyone who can tell me the difference?
No matter what it is, I can say that I didn’t particularly enjoy these as gingerbread cookies, but I DID like them as molasses… go figure!
The Most Wonderful Gingerbread/Molasses/Whatever Cookies, adapted from gingerkitten D’s recipe on food.com
Now, Aussie likes spicy gingerbread, which is why I chose this recipe over others. He also likes ginger, so I added a bit of crystallized ginger to this recipe. Leave it at that, and you have a spicy, not-at-all sweet cookie…not exactly what I look for in a cookie. Dip them in sugar, though, and you have a whole different cookie!
Oh, and ps. Don’t attempt without a mixer. This dough gave my KitchenAid the workout of its (very brief, being it was its second use) life! There’s NO WAY I could have mixed this with a spoon!
3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
6 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c molasses (tip: spray your measuring cup with non-stick spray to keep it from sticking!)
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 c finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional) (note: but I would probably double it next time!)
white sugar for dipping (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until well blended.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium until well blended. Add molasses and vanilla, and mix until well blended. Gradually add dry ingredients and then ginger pieces until blended and smooth. (Watch your KitchenAid work its face off, and stop wondering why German housewives reportedly have just buff arms!)
Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic, and let stand at room temperature for 2-8 hours. (After this, I popped one half in the freezer, but you can use it all if you want).
Preheat oven to 375F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Put one portion of dough on the surface, then sprinkle (fairly liberally) with flour. Roll dough to about 1/3″ thick, adding flour as necessary to keep from sticking (oh man, does it stick!). Cut out cookies with a cutter, then dip one side in sugar. Lay cookies sugar-side-up on cookie sheet 1.5″ apart. Bake for 7-10 mins (8 or so is great for the molasses variety!).
Eat and try to figure out whether they taste more like gingerbread or molasses, and what (if) is the difference!
WW info: I got 26 cookies out of this recipe, which makes each cookie 3 PointsPlus!