After much baking, and deliberation, a winner has been chosen for the Challenge Dairy Shortbread Challenge! A panel of judges, which included a chef, chose the Bleu Cheese Currant Shortbread Rounds! So, congratulations, Kristen! Well done! I had not even considered anyone would enter with a savory recipe. This one was sweet, and savory, and sweet again. It was very inventive, and quite delicious. This little swirls of flavor would make an easy and elegant little appetizer. If you have not already looked all the entries, though, please click on all of them in the comments section and take a look. All were delicious, and finding a winner was very difficult. I’d also like to thank Challenge Dairy who has sponsored this contest, and who will be giving Kristen a year’s supply of Challenge Dairy Butter.  If you didn’t win, don’t worry, you can still go to their website to print off coupons. And now, on to these chewy ginger molasses cookies. Awhile back, Brooke gave me a plate of gingerbread men. I think they were meant for my family or something, but all I remember was that I ate almost every single one. They had this hidden flavor I couldn’t put my finger on. So I had to keep tasting them. Again. And again.

When I finally realized the flavor was orange zest, I had to eat a few more, just to be certain.

Coming up with a chewy cookie when you don’t use shortening is very difficult, as far as I am concerned, so I usually don’t take chances. That’s why I generally take a chewy cookie recipe, that is already tried and true, and then make it my own. Though these are pretty different from Martha Stewart’s Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread cookies, I used that recipe as a guide.

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, grated ginger, orange zest, brown sugar, and molasses. Mix until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides.

3. In a small cup, boil 1 1/2 teaspoons of water and stir in baking soda. With the mixer on low, slowly add in half of the flour mixer, and then add in in the baking soda mixture. Follow with the remainder of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and mix the dough by hand a few times to ensure an even distribution of the ingredients.

4. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. With a small ice cream scoop, measure out each cookie and roll in granulated sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Tops should be cracked on the top. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack.

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