Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 2/3 cup molasses

  2. 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger

  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  7. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  8. 2 teaspoons baking soda

  9. 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter , cut into tablespoon pieces

  10. 1 large egg , lightly beaten

  11. 3 3/4 - 4 cups all-purpose flour

  12. 1/2 teaspoon salt

  13. Garnish: Ornamental icing*

  14. 3 to 4-inch cookie cutters; a metal offset spatula

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Bring molasses, brown sugar, and spices to a boil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat. Stir in baking soda (mixture will foam up), then stir in butter, 3 pieces at a time, letting each addition melt before adding next, until all butter is melted. Add egg and stir until combined, then stir in 3 3/4 cups flour and salt.

  2. Preheat oven to 325F.

  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with as much of remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed to prevent sticking, until soft and easy to handle, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Halve dough, then wrap 1 half in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.

  4. Roll out remaining dough into a 14-inch round (1/8-inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Cut out as many cookies as possible with cutters and carefully transfer with offset spatula to 2 buttered large baking sheets, arranging them about 1 inch apart.

  5. Bake cookies in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are slightly darker, 10 to 12 minutes total (watch carefully toward end of baking; cookies can burn easily). Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps (re-roll only once).

  6. Make ahead: Cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature 3 weeks.

  7. Related recipe: Ornamental Icing


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