My daughter has a friend, Joe Siewers, whose mother, Betty, makes the best strawberry jam I have ever tasted. So it came as no surprise that her ginger cookie recipe turned out to be this perfect example of a thick, chewy spice cookie. Rolling the cookies in sugar before they are baked makes the outsides especially crisp and a good contrast to the soft interior.
- 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- About ¼ cup granulated sugar
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg and molasses and mix until blended and an even light brown color, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it.
Spread the granulated sugar on a large piece of wax or parchment paper. Roll ¼ cup of dough between the palms of your hands into a 2-inch ball, roll the ball in the sugar, and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Continue making cookies, spacing them 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm but they are still soft in the center and there are several large cracks on top, about 14 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.