There’s aren’t many recipe traditions at the Isaac house – I like to change up what I cook for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. But these Molasses Spice Cookies are a tradition at the Christmas tree event we host for our clients every year, and as much as I like to change things up in the kitchen, I think these cookies are a non-negotiable tradition for Circa.
These cookies are soft and chewy, with a little bit of spice and not too much sweetness (good or bad – it’s hard to eat just one).
For our event, I make the dough ahead of time and roll into balls and freeze, then bake them throughout the day so that they’re still slightly warm and spreading their aroma through the house.
Molasses Orange Spice Cookies
This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. It’s important to use a spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition – this batter is easy to not mix thoroughly.
1 cup granulated sugar, divided (about 7 ounces)
3 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (11 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
⅓ cup dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup dark molasses
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and place 2/3 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. (You’ll use this to roll the balls of dough.)
Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.
In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and orange zest with brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium and add yolk and vanilla; increase speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses; beat until fully incorporated.
Add flour mixture and beat on low until just incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure it’s fully combined.
Using your hands, roll dough into balls of about 1-inch, then coat with remaining sugar. (If dough is too soft to roll, refrigerate until firmer.) At this point, I freeze the dough balls until ready to bake.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (for frozen dough) or until cookies have started to crack on top but are still soft in the middle. For best results, bake one sheet at a time.
Merry Christmas from us at Circa Real Estate Group!
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