I will be the first to admit that I fall hard for anything and everything pumpkin, but I find that September is tricky. Fall technically doesn’t arrive until the end of September, and I have always lived in the South, where the weather really doesn’t feel like fall, and won’t for another month or two (I mean, the high on Friday is 98°F – yikes!). But, after months of heat I’m always so ready for the cooler weather and layers and I want to invite it with all of the flavors of the season. It just feels a bit early to be drinking a PSL. So, to remedy the situation and bring some autumn flavors without the strange feeling of pumpkin in the summer, I began the transition with some chewy ginger cookies.
Ginger cookies are one of my favorite types of cookies year round. I tried one at a bakery in Charleston this spring and in Nashville this summer that were both so deliciously chewy, I knew I needed to make my own so I could have them whenever I’m in the mood. The rich flavor of the molasses, ginger, and spices makes them appropriate to pair with your chai tea in this transitional season, but isn’t in-your-face fall like pumpkin bread might be (though, let’s be clear, I’m almost sure pumpkin bread will make an appearance in my kitchen before fall truly arrives).
My goal for these chewy ginger cookies was to make the center just as wonderfully chewy as those we got at the bakeries. I’m happy to report that chewy centers were achieved! Freezing the dough balls after scooping helps them hold their shape and creates that chewy center we were going for with slightly crisp edges. I like to bake some of the frozen dough and keep the rest on hand in the freezer for when I have guests, or just when I feel like a treat. I think the ginger, cinnamon, and cloves help transport me a little closer to fall, even when the thermostat says otherwise ;).
While I love them year round, chewy ginger cookies are a delicious way to ease into fall. With a chewy center and crisp edges, you’ll want to keep them on hand all season.
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cups butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 egg
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla and egg and beat to incorporate. Add the molasses and mix to combine. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until there are no flour streaks and all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After chilling, scoop or roll the dough into 2-3 tablespoon balls and roll the balls in a shallow dish of turbinado sugar. Place the dough balls 2-inches apart from each other on your parchment-lined baking sheets to allow for spreading. Freeze for at least an hour (this will help them keep their shape and create that chewy center). Once frozen, you can place the dough balls in a bag to save for later or bake right away.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed up and begin to crack. They will continue to crack as they cool. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to continue cooling. Serve warm or cooled.
After they are cool extra cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about 4 days.