Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ginger Molasses Cookies

We've been watching a lot of Fantastic Mr. Fox lately, and thought it'd be fun to make a special treat that my little one could doubly enjoy since it's referenced in the movie. Mrs. Bean's nutmeg ginger apple snaps seemed like they would be a hit. Alas, I was short on some of the required ingredients and ended up making a simpler version that still turned out quite 'fantastic'. 

They are irresistibly thin, yet still stay soft and very chewy, thanks to to the only sugars being molasses and brown sugar. Even with the heavy amount of ground and fresh ginger, they didn't taste overly gingery and combined perfectly with the rest of the autumnal flavors. The recipe makes a big batch of cookies, and while I was placing a stack of them in the freezer, I knew I'd definitely have to try making these into some dynamite ice cream sandwiches. For next time. 

This version I adapted from Mario Batali's recipe, which I will eventually attempt so we can try the real deal. In case you haven't seen the movie and are wondering how Mr. Batali came about creating this recipe (or even if you have, you may have missed it), Batali has a 'cameo' so to speak as Rabbit, who happened to be a dazzlingly fast chef in the film. 

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened to room temp
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses, preferably not an extra dark variety
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
pinch of ground allspice
3 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
Preheat oven to 350*. In a standing mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 6 - 7 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, ground ginger, nutmeg, soda, cinnamon, salt and allspice. Whisk together to combine.

Add molasses and eggs to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix on medium low until well combined. Add grated ginger. Adjust speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined, about 2 minutes.
If you want to appease any little ones hovering nearby, use pasteurized eggs so they can enjoy some of the delicious dough. Or live on the wild side and let them have just, um, a little.
Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. Drop the dough in 1 Tbsp increments, about 6 per sheet to avoid them from running into one another. They spread a lot. You can bake on each sheet of parchment twice before they're spent, then use a fresh sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and let sit on the sheet for 1 minute to allow the cookies to set before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
If you don't feel like baking these all at once, simply cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and throw in the fridge (it'll keep for 2 days), just add 2 minutes onto the baking time if you're going to bake them straight from the fridge. The dough also freezes well for up to 6 weeks, the baked cookies up to 1 month.


  1. Made these cookies a couple of days ago, and they are fantastic! The ginger cookie recipe that's been floating around in my family is pretty good, but it make more thick/puffy cookies and they can get a little hard and don't seem to keep super well. These cookies looked to dark and delicious, and the thinness intrigued me. I wanted lots of those lovely spicy autumn flavors, and these delivered. They came out perfectly, after 2 days they are still incredibly soft and chewy, and the flavor is awesome. I love all the ginger in there. I will definitely be making these again!

    1. That is so good to hear! I'm always so curious as to how many people have tried any of the recipes posted- the number of views are never close to an approximation of that. I love mistakes that turn out to be something even better (perhaps?) than what was originally planned, which is what happened with this recipe. I'm really delighted that you enjoyed them!

  2. Hi Renee! These cookies look fantastic and possibly exactly what I'm looking to bake tonight! I love a good chewy cookies...not a huge fan of that "pillowy" stuff. Haha! Anyway, I was curious, how many cookies does this recipe make?

    1. I didn't happen to count how many cookies I ended up with - mainly because we were eating them about as fast as they were coming out of the oven the first night! I'm pretty sure we had at least 2 dozen cookies, possibly more. It is really quite a huge batch. If you want more, I'd try reducing the amount of dough for each cookie to 2 teaspoon increments.

    2. I halved the recipe and it still made quite a few at least 2 dozen. Also, they were so good I am making more right now! I just noticed a random thing, though-- your ginger looks way different from mine. Was that a piece of fresh ginger in the picture, or were you grinding your own dried ginger? I used the lame powder kind for ground ginger and grated a piece of fresh which was very juicy- more like a loose paste once it was grated. In any case, they have a wonderful spicy but not overpowering ginger flavor.

    3. I'm so glad you liked them! It is fresh ginger, but I keep mine peeled and well sealed in the freezer since I don't use it frequently enough to keep it from spoiling in the fridge. It looks really fluffy when I grate it on a microplane since its still frozen. I usually grate up a bit more than what a recipe calls for - it looks like a lot because of its volume, but it usually weighs less than what it appears to be. Although for baked goods, I feel that dried ginger is a great sub for fresh!