We were “boo-ed” yesterday. There was no jeering, no heckling, and no raw tomatoes thrown our way. The doorbell rang, but there was no one there. I would have thought it was one of my kids playing one of their favorite tricks on me, but they were standing right next to me, peering out the window. My 5-year old doesn’t quite get the concept of nicky-nicky-nine doors (or ding-dong ditch, or whatever else you would like to call this interminable childhood game). After ringing the doorbell, he peeks through the window beside the front door until he spots me walking to the front door (and I spot him), and then he runs away. His pure glee and contagious little giggle stop me from correcting his ding-dong and dash etiquette. When we opened up the door yesterday, we were greeted with a festive Halloween bag and a note that said, “You’ve been Boo-ed!” Inside the bag were several homemade treats and instructions to “Boo” two other neighbors. It’s kind of like a chain letter, but with finger-lickin’ treats.
I considered making my Spiced Pear Coffee Cake, but our pear crop is starting to wane and my family was craving cookies. Searching for a seasonal cookie recipe, I flipped through one of my old issues of Bon Appétit Magazine and found these molasses spice cookies. They looked and sounded so delicious that I did not change a thing (very unusual for me). We were treated to a soft, tender cookie with a little kick. Purely addictive and perfectly Autumnal. Hopefully, they will add to a successful “Boo-ing” – if my little guy runs away in time.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour,
2 teaspoons baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, and a pinch of coarsely ground black pepper. The size of the black pepper pinch depends on how much of a kick you want to get from your cookies.
In a stand-mixer with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted, room temperature butter until the butter is creamy. Add 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar and 1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap) to the mixer bowl. Beat for approximately 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture, until all of the flour mixture is combined with the mixture.
If some of the flour mixture is at the bottom of the mixer bowl, remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the rest of the dry ingredients with a spatula. Divide the dough in half, wrap each portion in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes or chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with the rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Pour 1/2 cup granulated sugar into a small bowl.
Remove one package of the dough from the freezer and divide each into 12 pieces.
One at a time, roll each piece of dough between your palms until the dough forms a round, smooth ball. Roll the ball of dough in the sugar and place on a baking sheet. Continue with the remaining pieces of dough, evenly dividing the balls between the baking sheets, so that each baking sheet holds 6 cookies.
Bake one baking sheet at a time, for 11 to 14 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are just set to the touch. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and, while they are hot, move the cookies to a cooling. Bake the cookies on the other baking sheet, and then repeat the process with the second batch of dough.
Serve the cookies at room temperature.
Other spice cookie recipes:
Molasses & Brown Sugar Spice Cookies
From Bon Appétit Magazine
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour