Rye Molasses Ginger Cookies are the spicy, warming cookies we need this winter. I’ve never been a huge fan of overly spicy, hot foods. When something makes the sweat pour out and my eyes stream, all other flavors are subsumed – for days! However, give me something well-seasoned and you have my attention. I love the fiery bite that ginger adds to almost any dish. It could wake the dead but somehow never kills the tastebuds. And hand me a piece of crystallized ginger – spicy and sweet, making my tongue tingle and my tastebuds stand up and cheer – and I’ll be your friend. Make it ginger covered in dark chocolate – and I’ll give you a hug.
As if the taste of ginger alone weren’t sufficient, ginger is a wonderful digestif, the perfect end to any meal that might have proved a bit rich or heavy. It’s been known to be an effective antidote to seasickness and morning sickness or just an iffy tummy. For me – well, I just love the taste and mouth sensation that ginger produces.
So when I saw this recipe on the King Arthur website for Rye Molasses Ginger Cookies, I knew that I just had to try them. And the fact that it also helped me to use up some of that rye flour that I bought way too much of in a moment of madness with visions of rye breads and pumpernickel dancing in my head is an added bonus.
It’s another dreary winter Sunday. My husband is making pizza for dinner and while his dough is proofing, I decided to make these cookies for dessert. They take no time at all to put together and thankfully I had all of the ingredients on hand. I learned the trick many years ago about adding freshly cracked black pepper to spice cookies so I was pleased when I saw the pepper already in the recipe.
I followed the recipe exactly; however, I did use a cookie scoop that was a bit larger than the one listed. Is anyone going to complain because their cookie is a little larger? I mean REALLY??! So while the cookie yield is not huge, there are more than enough to satisfy any cravings. All I need is a cold glass of milk. But if your thing is tea or coffee, you won’t be disappointed.
Because these cookies stay soft and chewy, rather than growing hard, they are perfect for using in homemade ice cream sandwiches. Just use a good quality vanilla ice cream in the middle and get ready for a real treat.
A couple of notes before getting started. I got into weighing my ingredients over the past year whenever a recipe gave me that option. It really has been a game changer. No matter how you scoop or pack your flour or sugar or ricotta etc., 150 grams is 150 grams if you weigh it out. Now I know that Americans are not used to weighing ingredients and depending on what I am making, I still use cup measures. But whenever possible I now provide both options for you.
This recipe called for “medium” rye flour. Whether you use medium or dark or light, the cookie will be delicious. It also calls for “molasses” but doesn’t specify “light” or “full-flavored” or “robust.” I used full-flavored molasses because I happen to like that full-bodied taste. The only thing I wouldn’t use is “black-strap” molasses. And if you have treacle but no molasses, you could use that instead. They will all work.
Do make sure that your spices are fresh. This recipe cries out for robust spices and tired cardamom or ginger that has been in your cabinet for years just won’t cut it. When a recipe calls for “vegetable oil” I almost always choose Canola Oil, but you could use corn or safflower oil if that is what you have. I would not use peanut, olive or any oil with a strong flavor for this recipe. They have their place in baking but this isn’t it. Okay, so now – bake!
Yield: About 18 cookies
- 2 cups (212g) medium rye flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 3/4 cup (149g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (99g) vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (85g) molasses
- 1/3 cup (76g) coarse sparkling sugar (sanding sugar) or 1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
- Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using either a hand whisk, an electric mixer, or a stand mixer, whisk the sugar and oil until combined.
- Add the egg and whisk until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Then add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir until well combined.
- Use a spoon (or a tablespoon cookie scoop) to portion 1 1/4″ balls of dough. (My cookie scoop was 1.5 Tablespoons so I got fewer than the 22 cookies and my resulting cookies were larger.)
- Roll the dough balls in granulated or sparkling sugar to coat before placing onto the prepared baking sheets. (The dough will be somewhat sticky, but it’s fine.) Leave 2″ between them on all sides; they’ll spread as they bake.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re puffed and their edges are set and the tops look crackly.
- Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool completely right on the pan.
- Store cookies, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.