This easy recipe for Brown Butter Ginger Molasses Cookies is a delicious twist on a classic gingersnap. These cookies are chewy in the middle, crispy on the outside, have a mild spice and an intense buttery flavor. These are my ultimate holiday cookies!
I've been a cookie baking machine lately. Isn't everyone this time of year?
Growing up, we never ate cookies like this. I don't think I'd ever even tried a gingersnap until I met my husband. They just weren't in my family's repertoire, and there wasn't really anything about them that made me particularly interested in trying them. But then a few years ago I tried a real, homemade gingersnap, all of my preconceived notions went out the window. I couldn't believe I'd been missing out on these this whole time!
Since then, I've messed around with several different ginger cookie recipes. Who knew there were so many kinds? There's gingerbread, gingersnaps, ginger spice, ginger molasses and on and on. What is the difference between all of them? Sheesh. I couldn't even begin to tell you. What I can tell you is that this cookie recipe I'm giving you today is what I consider my ultimate ginger cookie. Let's talk about why.
I like spice, but not too much, and some ginger cookies are over the top. Have you ever eaten a gingersnap only to have your mouth catch on fire from all the ginger? Lots of people love that, but not me. I don't want my cookies to leave an after-burn. I also don't like too much molasses, as its bitterness has a tendency to overpower the rest of the cookie. My cookies have just enough molasses to make them chewy, and just enough spice to make them taste warm and Christmasy.
I like my cookies slightly crisp on the outside, but definitely a bit under-baked and chewy in the center. That's where Mr. Gaffney and I firmly disagree. He insists on cookies being crispy (so they're better for dunking in milk), and while I can certainly get down with that, I don't think every cookie benefits from being crispy. Some are just better soft and chewy, and these definitely fall into that category. For the record, Mr. Gaffney had no complaints at all.
I always want to taste the butter in a cookie, so I went ahead and browned it for this recipe. Because of all the spices, I wasn't sure if the subtle flavor of brown butter would really come through, but it did. It makes them taste so much richer, so much more interesting than usual. It makes such a wonderful difference, in fact, that now I can't imagine eating a ginger cookie any other way.
In order to give these brown butter ginger molasses cookies an extra bit of texture, I roll the balls of dough around in a bit of sugar before baking to give them an irresistible crunchy coating on the outside. I love using a coarse sugar like Demerara or Sugar in the Raw, but granulated will work just as well.
These are the traditional ginger molasses cookies everyone bakes around the holidays, only tailored to taste exactly the way I like them. If you love a spice cookie that strikes the perfect balance between crispy and chewy, and tastes strongly of butter and just subtly of spice, these might just be your ultimate ginger molasses cookies too.
One Year Ago: Whole Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Two Years Ago: Beet + Carrot Latkes with Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Sour Cream, Classic Potato Gratin
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Four Years Ago: Pignoli Cookies