My first post since I posted my series ‘The Battle of the Buttercreams’! And no, it’s not about that longed-for grilled cheese sandwich I ate after I posted the test results...
No no no no, for this post, I had something else in mind. Soft, chewy, spicy molasses cookies covered with a thick, salted caramel drizzle…
Sounds good, right? That’s what I thought when I came across this recipe about a week ago. You see, I’ve recently discovered a new blog. It’s great! It’s colorful! It’s an inspiration!
And it’s a Friday today… Remember my ‘Making Friends’ campaign? Well, just in case you don’t: every other Sunday I’m going to present a blogger I really admire or a blogger who has inspired me to start my own food blog with a personal recipe. So far, I’ve made Double Chocolate Muffins with a Salted Chocolate Heart for Lindsay of Pinch of Yum, an Apple & Blueberry Crumble with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream for Katrina of Warm Vanilla Sugar and huge Spiced Pear Soufflés with Dark Chocolate Sauce for Emma of Poires au Chocolat.
And this Sunday, I’m making something special for Sally.
Yes, Sally! The writer, recipe developer and photographer behind Sally’s Baking Addiction. She started her blog in December 2011 and her blog has grown dramatically since then! Luckily, she shares tips and tricks on her blog, so humble little bloggers who’ve only just started (like myself) can learn from her experience. After all, isn’t that what blogging is all about? Sharing?
The moment I first read through Sally’s About page, I decided that I wanted her to be part of my Making Friends campaign. We have such a lot in common! Not only is she a twentysomething with a degree like myself, she also happens to love peanut butter and The Big Bang Theory! Needless to say, I feel like I know her already… How many times have I watched the reruns of The Big Bang Theory while enjoying a spoonful of peanut butter? Oh yeah… practically every night when I’m not writing!
I’ve actually left her a comment telling her that one of my best friend friends from high school could pass for Sheldon’s twin! Same walk, same posture, same germaphobia… Everything!
Well, he doesn’t think of himself as the next Einstein, but still…
Anyway, back to these delicious cookies!
These are ridiculously good and deceivingly soft. They look quite crunchy and robust with all the crackles, but these just melt in your mouth. Seriously, you expect them to be hard and crumbly, but then you sink your teeth into one and discover that they’re almost as soft as brownies, with a delicious chewy center and slightly crunchy edges.
Come to think of it, kind of like a macaron!
These cookies are pretty big too! About twice as big as the cookies I normally bake, such as the Brown Oat Cookies I posted about a few weeks ago. But big means good when it comes to cookies, right? And these only take about 10 minutes to bake.
After you’ve rolled the dough into balls, you first roll them in sugar and then bake them for about 8 minutes. The cookies will still be very soft by then, allowing you to gently press down on the dough balls with a fork. This creates the gorgeous crinkles! After you’ve pressed them down, you just bake them for another 1 minute and then they’re done!
I actually made these cookies when my family came over to celebrate Sinterklaas, a holiday that is celebrated in various regions of Europe and which kind of resembles the tradition of Santa Claus in the U.S.: a guy with a beard brings gifts. Since my family is all grown up, we celebrate Sinterklaas by buying a whole lot of gifts, having diner and then play a gift exchange game.
It’s a lot of fun! Sometimes we even sing cheesy songs together!
Things like that just don’t happen on normal days…
Anyway, Sinterklaas always calls for a lot of candy. And some sort of spiced cookies. So I whipped these babies up! Everyone loved them, especially my mom and youngest sister. I particularly loved the salted caramel drizzle on top. My older brother helped me make it (well, he oversaw me making it) and it turned out beautifully! Thick, creamy, slightly salty and gorgeously golden!
Just the perfect topping…
I mean, look at that stuff!
Oh, and the best thing about the drizzle? Well, after you’ve drizzled some over the cookies, you have an entire jar left!
So I’ve got a jar of caramel in my fridge right now. It probably wont last very long, though. In fact, I think I’m going to grab myself a big spoonful of caramel once I’ve posted this!
We ran out of cookies, you see…
- 375g (or 3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 170g (or ¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 150g (or ¾ cup) dark brown sugar
- 104g (or ⅓ cup) dark molasses
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 70g (or ⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon) granulated sugar, for rolling
- 200g (or 1 cup) granulated sugar
- 90g (or 6 tablespoons) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces
- 120ml (or ½ cup) whipping cream
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla. Beat well on high, scraping down the sides as needed again. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients have absorbed the wet ingredients. Do not overmix. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
- Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. Very slowly, drizzle in ½ cup of heavy cream. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils. Remove from heat and allow to cool down before using. Cover the caramel tightly and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (standard oven setting) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the granulated sugar into a bowl. Cut the dough into 20 equal chunks. Roll each chunk into a ball, then roll into the sugar. Place on the baking sheet, 5 cm or 2 inches apart. Bake for precisely 8-9 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press the top of the cookie down with the back of a fork. You're trying to obtain a crinkly top. Place back into the oven for 1 more minute. Cookies will be puffy and still appear very soft in the middle. That's okay. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before drizzling with caramel sauce.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Molasses cookies without caramel may be frozen up to 3 months. Rolled cookie dough may be frozen up to three months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.