You might need to find a locking cookie jar for these flavorful molasses cookies, because even though they are huge, one is not enough; at the very least, you need one for each hand!
These are very similar to the “Grandma Cookies” I adored in my younger days, though Grandma used sour cream instead of buttermilk, and was a little more frugal with the spices. I like to add the brilliant flavor of fresh ginger, too. They’re still milder than a gingersnap – closer to gingerbread. If you love spicy cookies, bump up the amount of spices a bit.
Glaze is mandatory, in case you were wondering.
I know this makes a large batch of dough, but since the cookies are so big, a regular-sized batch would only make something like 8 cookies – or a bunch of wimpy, sissy cookies. Pffft.
Make a pile of these – you won’t be sorry! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Peel ginger before grating. The easiest way to do this is to scrape it with a spoon or the back of a table knife. Grate the juicy flesh, but stop when it gets too stringy.
- If you don’t have fresh ginger, ground ginger is a perfectly acceptable substitute.
- I don’t like to use shortening either, but in this case I make an exception. You can use all butter, but the cookies will flatten out more.
- Make sure you thoroughly chill the dough before rolling, and use plenty of flour (I dump flour on a piece of parchment) for rolling.
- Hate to roll out dough? You can use a large cookie scoop instead, though the resulting cookies might not be quite as pretty.
- When you cut the cookies out, plan your cookie cutter placement with engineering precision – then move the scraps to a separate pile as you work. When the “first run” cookies are cut out, roll all of the scraps at once. Each time you roll out the dough, the cookies will get a little drier…and you don’t want that! (Though extra glaze can hide any flaws.)
- If possible, treat the dough like biscuit dough – lift the cookie cutter straight up instead of twisting it. This will make it easier for the cookies to puff up.
|My Big, Fat, Molasses Buttermilk Cookies!|| |
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened
- ¾ cup shortening
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated (or add 1 teaspoon ground ginger with dry ingredients)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup heavy buttermilk (I use Bulgarian)
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 7 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder (optional - makes a more brittle icing)
- Water (3-4 tablespoons)
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, brown sugar, and ginger well.
- Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
- In a medium bowl (mixture will expand) combine molasses and buttermilk, mixing until completely blended. Stir in the baking soda.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour and spices.
- Beginning with the dry ingredients and ending with the wet ingredients, add alternately (approximately ⅓ at a time) to mixture in the bowl, beating and scraping the bowl down after each addition.
- Chill dough for at least 3 hours - overnight is even better.
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- Place half the dough on a very heavily floured surface, turning the dough to coat with flour and forming into a ball.
- Roll dough out to about ⅓-inch thick. Cut into circles, using a 3-inch cookie cutter.
- With a spatula, lift each round one at a time, placing in the palm of your hand. Lightly flip the cookie from one hand to the other, dusting off extra flour, and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for approximately 10-11 minutes. Cookies should be starting to brown on the bottom but will still feel soft on top. Place baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
- FOR GLAZE: Place powdered sugar and meringue powder in a small bowl. Drizzle water into dry ingredients a little at a time, whisking continuously until it creates a thin glaze.
- Brush over cooled cookies and allow to dry completely before storing.
I’m not much of a cookie dunker, but I didn’t want to waste the cookies that were being dunked and photographed, so I heroically ate them. Oh, man. I’ve got to tell you: these cookies are flat MADE for dunking!
One bite and I’m back in Grandma’s kitchen, wiping clean dishes and bowls while the cookies baked. Heaven. Pure heaven!