It wasn’t always that the kids had a taste for ginger. It can have a bite, but not these ginger molasses cookies. Years ago, when Isaiah and I used to stop in at the cafes for a hot chocolate with whipped cream, he would often ask for a ginger molasses cookie. It always surprised me that he would choose that over a classic chocolate chip or oatmeal-raisin cookie. It made me happy that he was open to new flavors. Ever since he was diagnosed with gluten intolerance, he’s been talking about those ginger cookies. This is as recent as about a week ago.
So, I decided it was time to finally take to the kitchen and give it a try. As sometimes happens, the first time was a charm. This recipe is built on classic flavors and ingredients with one added bonus. Instead of the over-sized, kinda gummy (rather than chewy), over-sized, clunky cafe cookies, these ones are a perfect mix and crunch and chew.
That’s because I roll the cookie dough into raw sugar, which gives the cookie a nice exterior crunch, then I under-bake them slightly to yield a wonderfully soft center. I was going to measure the diameter for you, but they were all eaten before I could get out my measuring tape. Needless to say, Isaiah was thankful—along with the rest of the family.
The cookie dough will be slightly sticky so that when you roll it into the raw sugar, it sticks.
Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. They’ll spread as they bake.
These cookies are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. If you want them gingersnap-crunchy, bake for 2 to 4 minutes more. When they cool, they’ll be crisp.
For ingredient substitutions, please see the detailed chart at Gluten-Free 101.
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, vegan butter or more shortening, at room temperature
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt.
In a large bowl and using an electric mixer or standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat together shortening, butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the egg, molasses, fresh ginger and vanilla until combined. Mix in the flour mixture. Fold in the crystallized ginger. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
Place the raw sugar in a small bowl. Using a 1½-inch ice cream scoop or tablespoon (about ½ ounce in weight), scoop out the dough and roll in the raw sugar to coat. Arrange about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the edges are set but the centers are still soft, about 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough and raw sugar.