Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chewy Sugar-Crusted Spice Cookies

There are so many cookie recipes that claim to be chewy, but they end up drying out in a day or two. I have nothing against crunchy cookies, but I like a cookie to be dependable like an old friend: if they say they are gonna do something, like be chewy, then I count on that chewiness like I count on a good friend to be happy about, say, my upcoming wedding, ya know?

I wanted to make some big, spicy, soft cookies that would remind my boyfriend of his childhood. These fit the bill! Remember Archway spice cookies? That’s what these are, but better because all the ingredients are pure—no partially hydrogenated, artificial D&C number whatever. These are just nice, big, yummy, dependable, old-fashioned homemade cookies!

Chewy Sugar-Crusted Spice Cookies

Adapted from Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour or combo of both)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar (see homemade sugar recipe below!)
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
about 1/2 cup turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)

Directions:
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar and spices until smoothly blended, about 2 minutes. 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 color, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it.

NOTE: I find if you cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, the next step of rolling the cookies in sugar will be easier, but this is an optional step.

Spread the turbinado sugar into a small bowl. Roll 2 Tablespoons of dough between the palms of your hands into a ball, toss the ball in sugar to coat and place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue making cookies, spacing them about 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 12-14 minutes.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheet 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 and will remain SOFT!

HOMEMADE BROWN SUGAR

NOTE:
I recently ran out of brown sugar and decided to try making my own. Now I’m hooked—I doubt I’ll ever buy brown sugar again. Homemade brown sugar comes out so moist and soft and luxurious. It doesn’t dry out as quickly as pre-packaged brown sugar and is a lot cheaper. All you need is molasses and granulated sugar, and you’re all set.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoon molasses
1 cup granulated sugar

Directions:
Add molasses to sugar and stir with a fork. Store brown sugar in an airtight container to keep it soft. To make dark brown sugar, increase the molasses to two tablespoons.

2 comments:

Rhonda Spears said...

Darnit, Flappergirl! I just could not stop eating these chewy, spicy little numbers. I think I consumed a whole stack of them just for breakfast one morning. Thanks a lot for my new addiction. Well, at least it's a delicious one.

Jessica Martiele said...

Those cookies look DREAMY...and someone please explain to me why it never occurred to me that I even COULD make my own brown sugar?!?! I'm DOIN' IT!!!

 
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