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This is one of my absolute favorite cookie recipes. I originally posted it for Christmas last year and recently made two batches because I love them so much (and because I forgot to take a picture of the first batch). The inspiration for them comes from my Father who absolutely loves anything with maple or molasses. He was the type of dad who found every candy store on every family trip we ever took. He introduced me to maple fudge, maple donuts, maple candy, molasses cookies, and, of all things, bran muffins. While maple is a prominent flavor in the breakfast and dessert world, molasses seems to be kept on the bottom shelf and doesn’t receive the same publicity. Hopefully this recipe will help change that. Molasses cookie are delicious, especially this ginger and stout version. They’re soft in the center with slightly chewy sides. The sugar topping adds crunch while the chopped ginger adds texture. The spices complement the sweetness of the brown sugar while the molasses and stout add complexity, a slight roastiness, and a touch of minerality. The result is one hell of a cookie.
Adapted from a recipe in the March 2000 edition of Bon Appetit.
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
1-1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup stout, flat
1/4 cup turbinado sugar for topping cookies
Whisk together the first seven ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl; stir in the chopped ginger. Set aside.
Using a stand up mixer, beat together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy and pale in color. Add the egg, molasses, and beer; beat until combined. Reduce speed to low; add the flour, scrapping down the edges of the bowl as needed, and mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour, up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 350ºF; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Pour turbinado sugar onto a small plate and set aside. Using damp hands, form dough into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. Roll in turbinado sugar. Place the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches of space between each cookie as they will expand during baking. Do not flatten. Position in the center of the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. When ready, the tops will have cracked, but the edges will still be slightly soft to the touch.
Remove from oven; leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes then, using a spatula, transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. This will help develop the cookie’s soft, chewy texture and prevent the bottom from hardening.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week and serve with a full-bodied stout.