Molasses Spice Cookies
From the New Best Recipe Cookbook
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (Pillsbury or Gold Medal work the best in this recipe)
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/4 t. finely ground black pepper
1/4 t. salt
12 T. butter, softened but still cool
1/3 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 c. granulated sugar, plus 1/2 c. for rolling
1 large egg yolk
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. light or dark molasses
1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, pepper, and salt in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.
3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar and the 1/3 c. granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the yolk and vanilla; increase the speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and add the molasses; beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl once with a rubber spatula. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting; add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping the bowl once. Give the dough a final stir by hand to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at the bottom. The dough will be soft.
4. Place the 1/2 c. granulated sugar for rolling in a shallow bowl. With wet hands (to prevent the dough from sticking), roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball. Drop into the sugar and coat. Set on the baking sheet 2 inches apart.
5. Bake until the cookies are browned and still puffy, the edges have begun to set, and the centers are still soft (the cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone), about 11 minutes. Do not overbake.
6. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a rack.