I had intended to make some soft molasses cookies in time for Christmas. That type of cookie is very good for autumn and into winter. However I didn’t have the time to get them made. So, since we are still in the throes of winter I decided to make them now. With lots of molasses, or black treacle, and with spices and chocolate added I was sure they would be very tasty.
Softness in the cookie, almost like a cake, was what I wanted. For that the baking time is important, as baking too long will change the texture even though they will still taste good.
I didn’t want the chocolate to be the overwhelming flavour so I only used a little cocoa powder and 100g of chocolate, chopped into small pieces. That amount was intended to give a richness to complement the molasses and the spices.
I have seen some recipes that use more ground cloves than I did, but I find that flavour to be somewhat overpowering so I used only 1/2 a teaspoon, even less would be fine too.
Although the dough could be rolled out and then cookies cuts to make the shapes I decided to form balls of the dough and press them flatter in a muffin tin or a bun tin. That would allow the cookies to spread during baking to give a nice rounded shape to them. I did make a mistake with my first batch in the muffin tin. I greased the tin but the bases stuck a little, so for the next batch I greased and floured the tin to help ensure that the cookies released better.
Mine baked well, and I removed them after 15 minutes. Once cooled the bun tins ones and the muffin tins ones that had been greased and floured turned out easily after running a knife around the edge. I did a taste test and, I must say, they really were very good indeed.
- 530g(4 1/4 cups) plain flour
- 227g(2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 200g(1 cup) caster sugar, or granulated
- 240ml(1 cup) molasses or black treacle
- 120ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 30g(5 tbsp) cocoa powder
- 100g(3/4 cup after chopping finely) dark chocolate
- 1 medium egg(large in USA)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- Extra sugar for rolling balls of dough in.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer place the butter and sugar and mix, with the paddle attachment, until all is well combined.
- Add the molasses and egg and again mix until well combined, scraping down the bowl to ensure all the butter is incorporated.
- Sift the cocoa powder onto the flour and add the spices, baking powder and salt, then stir to combined them.
- Add the flour, in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions and mix until combined, again scraping down the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated.
- Add the chocolate and again mix until all is combined.
- Scrape the dough out of the bowl, onto some plastic wrap and enclose, forming a rectangle shape a couple of inches in depth.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour, and maybe overnight if you wish.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Grease and flour a muffin tin/bun tin(you may have to bake in batches).
- Divide the dough into 36 equal sized pieces(or roughly equal).
- Form each piece into a ball and roll in some caster sugar.
- Place each ball into the cup of a muffin tin or bun tin and then press down with something flat, like the base of a glass until the dough is almost covering the base of the cup.
- Bake in the oven for between 12 and 15 minutes until they have spread to cover the base and the dough it cooked through. (They should rise some during baking). Bake for longer if you want a firmer cookie.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes then run a thin knife around the edge and tip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.