These cookies are very simple, but I think that gives them their charm.
The molasses gives these cookies a wonderful chew. Rolling them in sugar gives them a nice texture on the outside. And the balance of the spice is just right.
They are also very nice and light, so when you find yourself eating one after another, you don't have to feel bad at all.
Molasses Chews (called 'Molasses Cookies Moldow' in Joy of Cooking)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp baking soda
Sugar for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Beat together butter and sugar, until light and fluffy [about 2 minutes]. In a different bowl, mix together flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and baking soda. Add that to the butter/sugar mix, also add the egg and molasses. Beat until well blended. The dough should be soft.* Refrigerate until firm enough to handle, about 2 hours.
Shape the dough in 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time, until firm, about 9-10 minutes.** Let stand briefly. Then remove to a rack to cool.
*My dough was actually fairly lumpy, and I have to press it together. I don't know if it was supposed to be like that, but the cookies ended up delicious.
**The recipe calls for 8 minutes, but mine are never done by then. They won't really look done when you take them out, but the tops will look crinkly, when they are ready.