Adapted from: King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion
I LOVE molasses cookies. I had them at my wedding. The recipe we used at my wedding is already posted here on the food blog as Karen's Molasses Cookies. That recipe is almost identical to this one, except that this one calls for less sugar and Kelly added more ginger and freshly-ground black pepper when she made this for our party. The end result was basically the same.
8 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 tsp ground ginger (Kelly said she used a little more)
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
freshly-ground black pepper, optional (a few twists of the grinder?)
granulated sugar to coat cookies
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar. Beat in the molasses and eggs.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until the dough has stiffened sufficiently to handle easily.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball - about 2 Tbsp of dough. Roll each ball in a sugar-filled shallow bowl to coat it. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 13 min. They will have flattened but won't have browned sufficiently. If you let them get brown around the edges, they'll be less chewy and moist. When you take them out of the oven they should still feel soft on top and be just barely colored.
Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack and store them in a plastic bag with a slice of apple to keep them soft.