Molasses Spice Cookies
2 1/4C (333g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t(easpoon) baking soda
1 1/2t cinnamon
1 1/2t ground ginger
1/2t ground cloves
1/4t ground allspice
3/8t finely ground black pepper (fresh-ground is best) [ed -- I know, I know, but 1/4t is just a little scant, to our tastes.]
3/4C (1 1/2 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3C (67g) granulated sugar
1/3C (80g) packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1t vanilla extract
1/2C (161g) light or dark molasses (blackstrap is not recommended)
approx 1/2C turbinado sugar (large crystals) for dipping. Ordinary granulated sugar can be substituted, but they won't be as pretty.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375F. These cookies must be baked one sheet at a time. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Put dipping sugar into a medium bowl.
Whisk flour, baking soda, spices and salt together until thoroughly combined; set aside.
Cream butter with white and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat until just combined. Add molasses and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Dough will be soft. (This all goes much faster in a stand mixer, if you have one.)
Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and roll into balls, then roll the balls in the turbinado sugar and set on the baking sheet. (We get an even dozen of these onto a half-sheet with plenty of room left over. We also like using a cookie scoop -- you're looking for one with a 1.5 inch diameter.)
Bake 1 sheet at a time, for about 11 minutes, until cookies are browned, still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft. They will seem underdone. Do NOT overbake -- this makes them hard instead of chewy. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through.
Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes (this is also key to proper texture), then transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled. (Can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container up to five days, assuming they don't get eaten first.)
Originally from Cook's Illustrated, February 2002.