These cookies are dark and beautiful, with a soft texture and spicy, just-sweet-enough flavor. The dough needs a long chill before you roll it out, so mix it in advance—you can keep it refrigerated for up to 5 days. The tastiest cookies come from the first roll or two of the dough (dough gets tough with handling), so after the second rolling, bake off the irregular scraps for some rustic “tasters.”
Published in Edible Bozeman, Winter 2019.
Blackstrap Gingerbread Cookies
makes 3–4 dozen cookies, depending on cookie cutter size
- 1½ cups unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 eggs large
- 4⅔ cups unbleached, wheat flour
- 4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cream or milk
Cream butter, molasses, brown sugar, and salt using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine after each. In a separate bowl, whisk flour with baking soda and spices. Add flour to butter; mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour with the spices and baking soda. Add flour mixture to creamed butter and sugar and mix to combine.
Lay 3 sheets of plastic wrap or parchment (each about 20-inches) on counter. Mound ⅓ of the dough on each sheet—dough will be very soft. Using the edges of the sheet, pat each mound of dough into a disk about 2-inches high and wrap. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 5 days.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet pan with Silpat or baking parchment. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and let sit 10–15 minutes at room temperature. Sprinkle flour on your work surface and rolling pin. Roll dough to about ¼-inch thickness, moving dough with a thin metal bench scraper and adding more flour to prevent sticking. Tap cookie cutter in flour and cut out shapes. Lift cookies using a bench scraper or thin metal spatula to transfer to the cookie sheet, leaving 1½ inches between cookies.
Bake 8–10 minutes, let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Gather dough scraps, wrap and re-chill. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking with the remaining dough.
Whisk powdered sugar with the cream (or milk) until you have a smooth icing that holds its shape when piped onto cookies. Add more powdered sugar or more milk to achieve desired consistency.
To decorate the cookies, make sure they are cool, then use a pastry bag with a basic round writing tip or simply put the icing in a baggie and snip off a tiny corner of the bag so that the icing can flow out when you squeeze the bag.
Recipe Notes / Tips
- Dough disks like these keep great in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for few months.
- For added color and decoration, press cinnamon red hot candies into the dough before baking.These are great for coat and shoe buttons, eyes, and holly berries.
- Keep the icing simple so that sugar doesn’t overwhelm the spicy cookies.