Years ago during the holidays, Costco put out these incredible ginger molasses cookies to complement their already unbeatable bakery lineup. They were exactly what I wanted a ginger molasses cookie to be: perfectly dark, not too sweet, and light slightly crispy coating of granulated sugar to complement the perfect pillowy softness. When the following Christmas season came around, the cookies were nowhere to be found. Distraught, I asked a bakery worker. Just as I feared: discontinued. Since then I’ve wanted to come up with my own recipe with all those same qualities. Finally, the time has come.
I went through a lot – a LOT – of different iterations of cookies before landing on the recipe I like. There were many issues: too thin, too crispy, too chewy. I tried different combinations of butter and butter-flavored shortening, I even added a tiny bit of water at one point. Ultimately I ended up with just butter. While the shortening promotes softness because it remains stable at room temperature, because it’s pure fat (unlike butter which has some water in it) it causes too much crisping on the bottom. And really I’m not mad that I have to nix a synthetic product. The real heroes are the combination of baking powder and baking soda, the correct ratio of fat to flour, and the right amount of molasses. The three-to-one ratio of dark brown sugar to granulated sugar helps give them their dark color without causing too much spreading and drying out. The result is a perfectly soft and gingery cookie that I know you’re going to love just as much as I do.
6 oz (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 egg, room temperature
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground clove
¼ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
⅓ cup granulated sugar for rolling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium high for 4-5 min until super light and fluffy.
- While butter and sugar are beating, in a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
- Turn mixer to low and add molasses. Once combined, turn off mixer, scrape down bottom and sides, then turn mixer back to low. Add egg and beat until combined.
- Add flour mixture and beat on until just combined. Cover dough in mixing bowl (or transfer to airtight container) and place in refrigerator until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚. Place oven rack on the center rung.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add granulated sugar to small bowl or pie plate. If dough gets too hard to scoop, let sit on counter for 10 minutes before proceeding.
- Using a #40 size cookie scoop (1 ½ tbs), scoop out chilled cookie dough, roll in your hands until smooth, toss in granulated sugar until coated completely, place on cookie sheet, then press down to flatten slightly. Arrange 8 dough balls per sheet (I do five rows of 2-1-2-1-2).
- Bake one sheet at a time for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes on sheet tray before moving to wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
- Chilling the dough is a crucial step for the texture, so don't skip it!
- Dough can be made a day or more in advance and kept in the refrigerator. If making in advance, let the dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before scooping and baking.
- Don't forget my #1 rule about baking cookies: if they're the consistency you want when they're hot out of the oven, they are going to be dry and overdone once they cool. Don't be afraid to stop the baking when they're a little too soft!