Prep 30 mins
Cook 12 mins
Adapted from Yankee magazine. Supposedly a version of this recipe is served on board the "Mary Day," a schooner from Maine. Any cookie with cardamom in it is a cookie for me. These are by far the best tasting spice cookies I have ever tried. Please use a wooden spoon to mix the dough - an electric mixer might make the dough too tough.
- 1 cup sweet unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda (really that much)
- 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water
- 1⁄4 cup molasses
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- Combine butter, sugar, all 5 spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl, mixing well with a wooden spoon.
- Dissolve baking soda in the warm water and then stir into the butter mixture.
- Stir in the molasses and the lightly beaten egg, mixing well.
- Add flour,1 cup at a time, stirring to mix- the dough will be quite stiff (be sure to scrape all the way down to the bottom of the bowl to mix evenly).
- Scoop the dough into walnut sized lumps (about 1 Tbsp or so) and drop onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2" apart.
- Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 8-12 minutes, or until crackled and browned. They will look very, very soft in the middles but as long as you can lift them with a spatula they are ready.
- Let cool 1 minute on pans before carefully lifting with a spatula to cooling racks.
- Finished cookies should be somewhat chewy.
These cookies are excellent with a cup of coffee!! I did not follow the directions, I put them together as most any other cookie that I cook, mix all dry ingredients including baking powder well, as a retired Merchant Mariner I think that the cook on the schooner “Mary Day” may have been dissolving some old lumpy baking powder. I also added 1 ½ teaspoons of Cream of Tartar to work with the Baking Powder. I followed the ingredients very closely, but I substituted Allspice for Cardamom as I had none on hand and it is hard to come by here in Costa Roca. I added 1 teaspoon of local Cocoa Powder, and used milk instead of water to balance liquids (Next batch I will try coffee!!). Creamed Butter, Sugar, Milk and Egg in stand mixer added blended dry ingredients about 2 cups at a time (tough dough??), and refrigerated the dough a few hours before rolling into balls, baked as usual.I baked ½ as is, and ½ rolled in Azucar Crudo (sort of like a larger crystal sugar in the raw). Personally I prefer the plain ones, I think the extra sugar detracts from the flavors of the spices. However I know a few young cookie monsters that may prefer the sugared ones. Fuzzy
These are delicious. I, however, did modify them to experiment. I used agave nectar in place of the white sugar (eliminate the water and decrease cooking temp 25 degrees if you try this). I personally thought they weren't sweet enough with that switch so I will do white sugar next time. To make the agave ones sweeter for my palate, I made a powdered sugar glaze with cardamom and cinnamon and lightly spooned it on the cookies. That was perfect for us! I will definitely make this again!
These are very good and chewy. I reduced the cloves slightly as suggested by another reviewer. The cookies remind me of the much more labor intensive Christmas cookies my grandma used to make (no rolling and cutting with cookie cutters).