Even after all these years of preparing multicomponent desserts at restaurants, what I really love is a good cookie, crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle, and bursting with flavor. This is one of my favorites. Use freshly ground spices if possible.
- 18 tablespoons (9 ounces) butter, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2¼ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
- 1½ teaspoons ground cloves
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 cup raw sugar (sometimes called demerara, coarse, or crystal sugar) or granulated sugar, for dusting
- Stand mixer
- Cookie sheets
Cream the butter and incorporate the eggs (see the Notes on creaming butter and room-temperature eggs):
Place the butter in the bowl of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the light brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes fluffy and lighter in color, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until they are fully incorporated and the batter looks smooth and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients and molasses (see the Note on a little extra baking soda):
In a dry bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture, all at once, to the butter mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold together for a few turns. With the mixer on slow speed, mix the dough until thoroughly combined, 1 minute.
Add the molasses and mix until incorporated. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.
Bake the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350°F ½ hour before baking the cookies. Spray cookie sheets with oil and line with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone pads, or use nonstick pans.
Place the raw sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off 1½-inch pieces of batter and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the sugar to coat. Arrange the cookies on the prepared sheet 2 inches apart and press your thumb in the center of each cookie to flatten it a bit. Bake until the cookies spread, crack a bit, and take on a dark golden brown color, 10 to 15 minutes. For even browning, rotate your cookie sheets from front to back and between each of the baking racks at least once while the cookies are baking.
Serve these cookies with Maple-Ginger Ice Cream.