chewy molasses ginger cookies

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These are a winter favorite in my house! Or I guess just with me, as my husband isn't a big fan of molasses (his loss). Either way, I love the warming, comforting flavors of molasses, cinnamon, and ginger. Like most cookies, I tend to under-bake them just a tad, since they will continue to cook after being removed from the oven. These just scream "holidays" to me, and are also a crowd-pleasing treat to bake for any cookie exchange you might be attending this season! Enjoy!

Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar, for coating
  • optional mix-in: 1/2 cup candied ginger, dark chocolate, pumpkin purée

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream butter and both sugars together in bowl of stand mixer until fluffy. Add in egg and molasses, and mix well. Gradually add all dry ingredients, mixing to combine. Fold in optional mix-ins, if desired. Chill dough for at least one hour. Put remaining sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into balls, dip into sugar, and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely. Makes about 32 cookies, just under 1 oz. each.

*Can be made vegan by substituting a flax "egg" for egg, and coconut oil for butter.

thin & chewy chocolate chip cookies

 

 

I'm typically of the belief that cookies should be thick & chewy, with almost-raw dough on the inside, and a nice, crisp exterior (think Levain Bakery or The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies. However, there's a time and a place for thin & chewy cookies as well. These are crowd-pleasers, and will satisfy all cookie lovers. I love that they spread out into giant discs, even run into each other, but don't get totally crispy inside & out. They maintain that gooey interior that is absolutely key to a delicious cookie. Extra bonus, they're super quick & easy to throw together, so you can satisfy that cookie craving in an instant!

Thin & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1  1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Cream the butter and sugars together in a stand mixer until fluffy & combined, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until a dough comes together, careful not to over-mix. Fold in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours, if possible.

Form large balls of dough (about 2 tbsp) into balls, then place on the baking sheet and flatten to thin disks. Make sure to leave enough room between the cookies as they will spread when baking. Bake about 12-14 minutes, until golden brown edges form. Let cool on a wire baking rack.

*Adapted from Flat & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by NYT Cooking and Thin Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Comfort of Cooking.

 

ranger cookies

Ranger Cookies are a childhood favorite of mine- they always make me think of home. My mom got the recipe from a neighbor in the Texas Hill Country after she brought over a freshly baked batch, and we quickly became enamored. The original recipe calls for shortening (butter flavored Crisco!), but for health's sake I have updated it to either unsalted butter, or if you want an extra coconut kick, coconut oil. I love the combination of sweet and salty textures with the corn flakes, pecans, coconut, and oats! There are several names and variations out there for these cookies- Cowboy, Everything, Kitchen Sink, but to me they will always be Rangers. I recently got the opportunity to whip up a batch of these as part of a steamy shoot for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit! The retro, 50s housewife-inspired looks were sexy & fun, and any shoot that requires me to eat cookie dough is a win in my book! I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Ranger Cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, diced (or coconut oil)

  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar

  • ½ cup light brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups Corn Flakes (or similar cereal)

  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded or flaked

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla using a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment on medium-low speed. Add salt, baking powder, baking soda and flours, mixing until no lumps remain.  Finally, mix in corn flakes, oats, coconut and pecans.  Drop by heaping tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Let cool and enjoy! Dough and cookies also freeze well.


peanut butter pretzel oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

 

I made these cookies for my husband on his birthday one year, and they quickly became a household favorite. We both love chocolate and peanut butter, so these fully loaded, salty-sweet cookies were a huge hit! But really, what's not to love when oats, chocolate chunks, and peanut butter pretzels are all involved?! You may want to whip up a double batch and keep some dough in the freezer, so that cookies are never too far away when the craving hits. Also make sure not to over-bake, so you'll get that delicious gooey, chewy center!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup peanut butter pretzels, crushed
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until smooth. Add egg and vanilla until combined. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt, then add in oats. Fold in peanut butter pretzels and chocolate chunks. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove dough from fridge and use an ice cream scoop to form big balls. Set on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Lightly press down on dough to flatten. Bake for about 10 minutes. Enjoy warm from the oven or cooled!

*Adapted from Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies by How Sweet It Is.

 

the ultimate chocolate chip cookies

While my #1 favorite chocolate chip cookie in NYC is from Levain Bakery, another ridiculously delicious option comes from Jacques Torres, who is known as Mr. Chocolate, and for good reason! His cookies are a bit thinner & wider than those from Levain, but they have perfect caramelized, crisp edges with a melty, gooey interior.  I've been on the quest to bake the ultimate chocolate chip cookie at home, and lucky for me, The New York Times has published a recipe based on Jacques Torres' own. Just a heads up, these aren't your quick, easy to throw together cookies. They require both bread and cake flour, and need to be refrigerated for at least 24-36 hours before baking (kudos if you can wait that long without eating all the dough or baking a few cookies early, which may or may not have happened here). But trust me, plan ahead a bit and have the dough ready to go in your refrigerator. The added wait time improves both the flavor & texture of these cookies, so it's definitely worth it. Make sure you find chocolate discs instead of your typical chocolate chips. They are bigger & flatter, and melt in the perfect way in these cookies by creating a whole sheet or layer of chocolate instead of just blobs. A higher quality chocolate, like Guittard, will take these cookies to the next level! You will not be disappointed-I promise- but if you are, I will gladly take them off your hands!

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves
  • sea salt, for sprinkling over cookie dough prior to baking
 

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt into a large bowl; set aside. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them.

 

Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside. Scoop six 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie.

Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 16-20 minutes. Transfer baking mat or parchment paper to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin. Makes about 18 5" cookies.

*Recipe from The New York Times, adapted from Jacques Torres.