Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies

~ Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies ~

We’ve waited until very late (for us) to get our Christmas tree this year. Normally it’s up in early December, and by time the 25th arrives, we light the candles in a last hurrah, before dismantling it the next day. This year is a little different. We harvested our tree only this past weekend, on Saturday evening in the dark. As we picked it out, it felt like we were back in Denmark, searching for a tree in the darkness of the nordic winter. We spent Sunday decorating and will continue to do so over the next few days – after all, everyone has to have their way with the decorations. Then on the 24th, we will light the tree in its full glory as we celebrate julaften or Christmas eve, when we eat our big holiday dinner. In true Scandinavian fashion we use live candles, and it’s truly the most beautiful sight to behold.

Since the tree is so fresh, it will remain standing for a good week after Christmas, which is perfect, since we are home for the holidays this year and look forward to friends stopping in for wine and gløgg.  In anticipation, I’ve made an extra large batch of these Ginger Molasses Spiced Cookies to have on hand for any last minute tree tweaking and unexpected guests who might surprise us. The spice of these cookies goes very well with a glass of warm spiced gløgg.

Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies

I was honored that Food52 selected these cookies last week as their contribution to a virtual cookie swap, hosted by Food Network and Yahoo! Shine. And Alicia, the talent behind the delicious blog Weekly Greens, has featured this recipe in her Whole Foods Market Cooking Column. Christmas has indeed come early this year!

Makes about 42 (1 1/2 inch) cookies.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1/3 cup finely diced candied ginger, optional
Granulated sugar for rolling

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, salt, and cloves in a bowl to combine.  Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and molasses and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in the candied ginger. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Pour some granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, then in the sugar. Arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and gently flatten. Bake in oven until set and crinkled on top, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and cool.

19 thoughts on “Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies

  1. I’d give anything to see your tree – the photo is a treat…And your cookies really made the rounds this season – congratulations!

  2. Have a happy Christmas, Lynda. We stay up here this winter and hope for a white one. We’ll have some tender thoughts for you and the family.
    Lots of love xxx
    Keep on posting, you are the best 🙂

  3. Oh we are christmas evers too. I love cookies with molasses in them, such a healthy addition, do you have real live candles on the tree. how awesome! c

  4. What a gorgeous tree Lynda. I am particularly enchanted with the real candles, my mom used to tell us that they always had real candles on their tree in Budapest. We celebrate Christmas Eve in the European style, our big dinner and then the presents. The spiced molasses cookie is lovely; I love the way it crackles when baked.

  5. Your tree reminds me of the good things that are reminiscent of Christmas. Lovely and peaceful! Christmas for me is all about family and sharing and giving…Which reminds me that no matter how I battle to keep all to myself these spiced cookies, I am doubling the recipe to share the goodness to friends and neighbors. Merry Christmas! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ok I’ll get to the cookies in a second but that TREE! is gorgeoussss! It’s so regal and ….geeze I’m at a loss for words. We don’t have a tree this Christmas so I love looking at everyone else’s. Yours is the best I’ve seen so far.

    Now to the cookies: they look awesome. Ginger and molasses? What’s not to love?!!

    Happy Holidays & Warm Wishes for a Peaceful & Prosperous 2012

  7. Looks like you’re all ready for a beautiful holiday, with the tree, the mulled wine and these cookies, I’m sure the aroma in your home is spectacular!

  8. I’m trying so hard not to think of the exploding Christmas tree in “National Lampoon’s Christmas”, but with all those REAL candles on your tree, it’s hard to put it out of my mind. Of course, these cookies will also hard to put out of my mind so I don’t even think I’ll try. Must go make these NOW. Happy holidays to you and your family, Lynda….be safe with that tree! – S

    1. It is a bit of a shocker for the uninitiated, but once you go the live-fire route there’s no turning back. The key is a fresh tree, special candles and holders, a bucket of water to the side, and lots of attention – but that’s easy since everyone is fixated on the tree anyway. Have a happy holiday!

  9. I am just catching up with your blog now, after a crazy December! Your tree is magnificent. It reminds me, some, of my favorite neighbor’s tree growing up. They also harvested a huge tree, and dressed it with their native Norwegian ornaments (not quite Danish, but almost.) So lovely!

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