Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 orange; zested
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, mixing just to combine. Stir in the molasses and vanilla extract.
Fold in the flour mixture, until just combined. Separate the dough into 2 portions (it should be quite sticky) and place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, stir together orange zest and turbinado sugar with your fingers.
Remove dough from fridge. Working in batches, cut out cookies into desired shapes. Keep unused dough chilled. Sprinkle with orange-sugar topping. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until cookies are firm around the edges and set in the middle. Cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then cool completely on a cooling rack.
(Images: Rebekah Peppler)