Tis’ the season when cookies come into their own, gracing dessert plates from the office potluck to fancy holiday dinners. Over the next several weeks we’ll post some favorites to add to your cookie exchange.
Chewy Molasses Cookies with Crunchy Lemon Glaze
Makes 4 dozen cookies.
For the molasses cookies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2-inch knob of fresh ginger, finely grated or juiced
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Granulated sugar, for rolling
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line two large, heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the butter with the olive oil, molasses, and brown sugar. When it is fluffy and lightened, add the egg and whip until smooth. Whip in the grated ginger and its juice.
Add the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and black pepper to the butter mix. Stir with the paddle until thoroughly combined. The dough will be quite soft. Put the dough in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour, or up to 3 days. (This dough can also be wrapped and frozen. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.)
Pour about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. When the dough is stiff enough to handle, separate it roughly into four parts. Divide the first part into 12 walnut-sized chunks, and roll each into a ball. Roll the ball lightly in the sugar, then place on the baking sheet. Repeat for the others, and the second quarter of the dough.
Bake the first two sheets of cookies for 12 minutes, swapping each baking sheet from the upper to lower rack (and vice versa) at the 6-minute mark. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies with a spatula to cooling racks.
Repeat with remaining dough. While the remainder of the cookies cool, make the glaze. Dribble the glaze over the cookies in a thin swirl, using a fork, or paint it on with a pastry brush. Let the glaze dry and cool on the cookies until hard. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.
For the lemon glaze:
2 lemons, juiced (about 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
Whisk the lemon juice together with the granulated and powdered sugars. Use immediately.