Every time I make some declaration about fall weather arriving, Chicago tells me to shut up and drops super hot days on us. For instance, it’s in the 80s as I sit here and write this. I should know better by now. HOWEVER, me don’t learn good, so I’m going to go ahead and declare that fall weather has arrived.
I’ve always made a conscious effort with this blog to avoid click bait hooks to get people to check out my stuff. That being said, if you’re a fan of gingerbread or baking spice, these cookies are legitimately best-ever gingerbread addicting. For any of you out there that read this blog, regardless of what your status is with baking, make these. Unless you hate delicious cookies, in which case maybe just leave.
It should go without saying that the fresher your spices are, the better these cookies are going to be. Honestly, I’m not the kind of chef that keeps a continuous stock of only fresh spices, but when the holidays approach I think it’s worth it to at least go out and get the big four baking spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove) for all of the recipes I’m sure to make. If you happen to live in Chicago, you have some great options for getting fresh, quality spices in places like the Spice House and Rare Tea Cellars.
Today I’m using Mexican vanilla. This vanilla has a rich, spicy flavor profile that pairs perfectly with the dark caramel, spice notes of the cookie. If you haven’t used this type of vanilla before, you should definitely give it a try!
Every cookie we’ve made before this has been chilled, rested and then baked (or even frozen and held raw), but these guys need to go into the oven just after making the dough for the best results.
I’ve always said that the stronger the ingredient, the more exact the measurement when adding it to a recipe. The spices in these cookies are a great example. I use a postage scale (or drug scale depending on how you roll) because it’s accurate to the tenth of a gram.
I always use an ice cream scoop for portioning my cookies, and today we’re using a #30 scoop, which gives you a 1.25oz.
yield: 20 x #30 cookies
280g all purpose flour
4g baking soda
75g brown sugar dark
175g butter unsalted
10g vanilla extract Mexican
20g egg yolk about 1 egg
175g molasses dark
sugar in the raw as needed
Bring the butter to room temperature before getting started. Preheat your oven to 375F/190C.
Combine and sift the all-purpose flour and baking soda, and reserve to use later.
Combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and spices and mix in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed for 4-5min. or until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks and molasses and mix until well combined.
Add the sifted dry ingredients in two additions, each time mixing until just combined and making sure the bowl is well scraped.
Add the sugar in the raw (also known as turbinado sugar) to a small mixing bowl.
Scoop the dough into the turbinado sugar, gently rolling the dough until completely covered with sugar.
Stagger the cookies on a double stacked sheet pans lined with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
Bake the cookies for 10-12min., rotating the pan halfway through. The cookies will crack on the surface when finished. They’ll also underdone but this is normal.
These are an any-time-of-year cookie for me, but they’re also a great way to start the fall season.
Cheers – Chef Scott