February 19, 2010 lately
I’ve realized lately that it’s kind of hard to bake without tasting, to completely trust your instinct — especially when baking with molasses. I don’t usually get nervous while baking, but the smell of these cookies pre-oven was so sickeningly sweet that I was literally shaking, dreading the moment someone would ask to try a cookie. Thankfully, though, that smell transformed in the oven, the cookies exuding a fragrant and comforting aroma. I’m still on my no-sugar kick, so I didn’t try one, but lots of family members and friends did, and swore to me that they were good — let’s hope we can trust them.
Super Sized Ginger Chewies
From Elinor Klivans’s Big Fat Cookies
2 ¼ cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cloves
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter at room temp.
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°. 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.
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.