I know, I know. Molasses cookies in the summer? (And yes I also know that it's not "officially" summer yet, but it's 103 today in Oklahoma so it counts. Man I miss New England sometimes!) So while molasses does have a more autumn tone to it's flavor I think it's good to eat something with a bite to it in the midst of all the light summer fare.
These are the cookies my Nana made for us when I was little. It was probably the only time we used molasses growing up, and the only reason I had it in my pantry for years as an adult. It wasn't until I really taught myself how to cook a few years ago that I began to appreciate the flavor in other recipes.
I decided to mix things up a little and since I had buttercream frosting laying around from a preschool class project, I thought sandwich cookies might be fun. Anything with frosting in the middle is automatically a win in my boys' book, and what mom can resist that?
The sweetness of the buttercream sets off the bite of the molasses really well. They don't compete like two disparate flavors can when combined, but set each other off to perfect advantage. There's a reason the original was a family classic, and I'm thinking the updated version might be here for good too.
Nana's Molasses Cookies (about 3 dozen)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (plus 1/2 cup for rolling cookies in)
2 tbsp molasses
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp clove
1 tsp salt
Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer. Add in Molasses and then the egg, making sure they are completely combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, clove and salt.
Pour flour mixture into wet ingredients and stir to combine.
Roll tablespoon of dough into balls. Roll dough balls in sugar and place on cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with a glass.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 20 minutes.
Classic Buttercream Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
In a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment mix sugar and butter together. When combined, add in the vanilla and raise the speed of the mixer so that the mixture is being whipped. Drizzle in cream until the consistency you want is reached and then continue to whip for another minute or two until the mixture is really fluffy.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of buttercream frosting between two cookies and press together.