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We're having a cookie party with some neighbors this weekend. Do any Rockwellians have any killer cookie recipes they'd like to share?

Thanks

I made the Grasshopper squares recipe in Gourmet (you can find it on Epicurious) and it was easy and quite impressive looking. Very tasty too. Hopefully you're not going to the same cookie party I'm going to this Sunday.

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Lemon Jumbles

yield: four dozen 2 1/2" cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened

1 cup sugar (scant)

1 large egg

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

for glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp unsalted butter, warm but not melted

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, room temp or slightly warm

1/2 tsp light corn syrup

1 or 2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together dry ingredients. Beat butter, sugar, egg, zest, and juice until light and well blended. Beat in flour mixture until well incorporated.

Shape dough into a ball, then cut into quarters. Shape each quarter into a flat disk. Cut each disk into 12 wedges. Roll each wedge into an even 5" long rope. Press rope ends firmly together to create ring. Place on greased baking sheets about 1 1/2" apart.

Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, until slightly browned at the edges. Immediately transfer cookies to wire cooling rack. These cookies are a bit delicate at first, so use a thin spatula to avoid crumbling.

For glaze, mix together 2 or 3 tp lemon juice with all other ingredients, then thin with remaining lemon juice. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze, and put on wire rack to let set. Optional step: add food coloring to remaining glaze and drizzle over the cookies.

The glaze is pretty sweet. Either make it very thin or dip the cookies while they're still warm to get a thinner coating. You could also just drizzle the glaze. Heck, skip it altogether - the cookies don't need it. My husband likes the glaze, so I'm stuck with it. :lol:

I've found it's best to make all the rings, then let them sit for a few minutes to firm up a bit. They'll retain their shape better when baked.

Edited by perrik
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World's. Best. Rugelach.

(And yes, I get the irony of a traditionally Jewish foodstuff being touted as perfect for Christmas.)

Here's the recipe for Lora Brody's Rugelach from Rose's Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Makes delicious, tender little rolls -- fairly time-consuming, because you have to chill the dough, roll it out, spread it with jam, then sprinkle filling on top before cutting and rolling the dough into individual cookies (which then should go back in the fridge to set up before baking.) But it's totally worth it.

I've also made them with seedless raspberry jam instead of apricot, but there's something about the combination of apricot, golden raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon that is just perrrrrfect. :lol:

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I made the Grasshopper squares recipe in Gourmet (you can find it on Epicurious) and it was easy and quite impressive looking.  Very tasty too.  Hopefully you're not going to the same cookie party I'm going to this Sunday.

I looked at the recipe and it does look interesting. My brother's wife can't eat tree nuts, so I am looking something interesting for the "homemade' gift exchange which doesn't contain the forbidden stuff (no pecan pralines for HER). She objects, however, to putting alcohol in things that the kids might like. So my question is this: can I just add some green food coloring and extra peppermint extract to this and skip the creme de menthe? And, can these really hold up for three weeks? Doesn't this need to be kept in the refrigerator? Please tell me that this recipe is fool-proof.

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I looked at the recipe and it does look interesting. My brother's wife can't eat tree nuts, so I am looking something interesting for the "homemade' gift exchange which doesn't contain the forbidden stuff (no pecan pralines for HER). She objects, however, to putting alcohol in things that the kids might like. So my question is this: can I just add some green food coloring and extra peppermint extract to this and skip the creme de menthe? And, can these really hold up for three weeks? Doesn't this need to be kept in the refrigerator? Please tell me that this recipe is fool-proof.

Annoyingly, it does need to be kept refrigerated. You could most definitely skip the creme de menthe and do as you suggested without adversely affecting the flavor. I made the grasshopper squares this past weekend and cut them in half in order to more easily store in the fridge. I'm planning on waiting until this weekend's cookie exchange to cut them up into little squares. The problem with taking these to a cookie exchange is that I'm not sure what will happen to them when they sit out at room temperature for an extended period of time. I'm sort of hoping people will just eat them and no one will want to try to transport any home.

I thought the recipe was fairly easy and my mother-in-law said that the wow factor for taste and appearance overcomes the annoying chill factor for her.

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The problem with taking these to a cookie exchange is that I'm not sure what will happen to them when they sit out at room temperature for an extended period of time.  I'm sort of hoping people will just eat them and no one will want to try to transport any home.

Thanks for the info. I don't actually mind keeping stuff in the fridge. The chocolate truffles I usually make need to be kept cold. I would love a report on how these things do at room temp.

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It's too late for your cookie swap now, but perhaps for future cookie baking... I made these Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios over the weekend and they were both easy to make and delicious. My only edit was using orange zest instead of lemon - seemed like it would pair a little nicer with the cranberry/pistachio/aniseed flavors. We ended up dipping some in white chocolate, but I liked plain just as well.

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thanks for the various suggestions

We ended up making both the lemon jumbles and the grasshopper squares. Both were relatively easy to make and the lemon jumbles were excellent - we haven't tried the grasshopper squares yet because the whole layering and cooling process takes quite a bit of time

I would definitely do both again

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Thanks for the info.  I don't actually mind keeping stuff in the fridge.  The chocolate truffles I usually make need to be kept cold.  I would love a report on how these things do at room temp.

The grasshoppers ended up holding up quite well at room temp during the cookie exchange and were quite a hit. Go for it.

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I happened to glance at the latest Gourmet Magazine at the drugstore yesterday. It's their annual cookie issue, and may have some recipes of interest to holiday cookie bakers out there. According to Ruth Reichl's remarks, they've been testing the recipes all year. I certainly trust her discriminating palate. I don't think she would allow anything but winning recipes to go out there on her watch.

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I happened to glance at the latest Gourmet Magazine at the drugstore yesterday. It's their annual cookie issue, and may have some recipes of interest to holiday cookie bakers out there. According to Ruth Reichl's remarks, they've been testing the recipes all year.  I certainly trust her discriminating palate. I don't think she would allow anything but winning recipes to go out there on her watch.

Thanks for the heads-up!

I'm in search of a really, really good basic sugar cookie dough, as my husband has promised I'd make cookies for his co-workers and they've already eaten untold thousands of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. They might not be bored with them, but I am.

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I'm in search of a really, really good basic sugar cookie dough,

I'm unclear about whether we can post recipes from cookbooks here, with attribution. I have a great sugar cookie recipe; if no one can clear up the issue, I'll pm you with it.

Edited by porcupine
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I'm in search of a really, really good basic sugar cookie dough,
For plain cookies or rolled out and cut into decorative shapes?

My favorite plain sugar cookie recipe is the same one Heather used for the cookies she brought to the DR.com last picnic. Here is a copy:

SUGAR COOKIES

Makes 2 dozen cookies

It's better to use Land O'Lakes, or similar supermarket butter; Plugra and the like make the cookies too greasy.

2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon table salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still firm

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 large egg

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

large crystal sugar or granulated sugar, for rolling

Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium a bowl and set aside.

In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with hand mixer, beat butter, 1 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and vanilla, beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Chill dough thoroughly.

Place sugar for rolling in shallow bowl. Fill medium bowl halfway with cold tap water. Dip hands in water and shake off excess (to keep dough from sticking to your hands and ensure that the sugar sticks to dough). Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball between moistened palms, roll ball in sugar, then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, moistening hands after forming each ball and spacing balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared backing baking sheets (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet). Butter the bottom of a drinking glass; dip into remaining sugar and flatten dough balls with bottom of glass until dough is about ¾-inch thick.

Bake the cookies until they are golden brown around edges and just set and very lightly colored in center, 15 to 18 minutes, reversing position of cookie sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheet about 3 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Recipe adapted from: recipe in Cook’s Illustrated magazine, November 2002

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An interesting sugar cookie variation can be found in Betty Crocker's Cooky Book (1963, with some darn good recipes!). The one I like calls for 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar creamed with one cup butter; stir in one egg, one teaspoon vanilla, and half a teaspoon almond extract; mix in a mixture of 2 1/2 cups flour, one teaspoon baking soda, and one teaspoon cream of tartar. Roll out the chilled dough and bake at 375 on lightly greased baking sheets; how long depends on how thin you roll them; they should be just starting to turn golden. These cookies have an unusually soft texture, even though they're crumbly - I know that sounds contradictory, but they are really good and just a little different.

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That's my recipe except for the tablespoon of brown sugar.  Not sure how that got in there - maybe it's part of the online recipe and not the one in The Best Recipe?

Yes, it is from the online recipe. And I always wonder about that tablespoon of brown sugar. Does it really do all that much for the cookies? Unless I already have the brown sugar out and handy, I rarely add it. :)
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Basic Butter Cookies. These are melt in your mouth, not too sweet bites of heaven. (Or so I understand...I'm vegan, but bake and give these every year.)

The recipe I've been using for the past 10 yrs. or so came from Gourmet Mag., 1995. You can find it on Epicurious...

Another almost embarassing, almost non-recipe is for Chocolate Crinkles--you use boxed devil's food cake mix.... These always receive raves, and look rather festive on a cookie plate. You can find the recipe on Epicurious too.

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Yes, it is from the online recipe.  And I always wonder about that tablespoon of brown sugar.  Does it really do all that much for the cookies?  Unless I already have the brown sugar out and handy, I rarely add it.  :)

And you expect us to believe that you have not done a side by side taste comparison.

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That's my recipe except for the tablespoon of brown sugar.  Not sure how that got in there - maybe it's part of the online recipe and not the one in The Best Recipe?

Having two recipes with different ingrediants for the same product sounds contrady to Cook's Illustrated's whole Thing. :)
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Having two recipes with different ingrediants for the same product sounds contrady to Cook's Illustrated's whole Thing.  :)

It happens, but they never acknowledge it, which is kinda annoying. The latest issue has chocolate mousse, but it's a different recipe than the one in the "Best Recipe".

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Another almost embarassing, almost non-recipe is for Chocolate Crinkles--you use boxed devil's food cake mix....  These always receive raves, and look rather festive on a cookie plate.  You can find the recipe on Epicurious too.

When I was a wee lass, I experimented with cake mix and discovered that it could be used to make addictive cookie-shaped cakes. I have no idea how I did it... extra flour added to the batter, maybe?

I made the lemon jumbles again earlier this week, and used colored sugar instead of a glaze. Much better...

My father has requested some sort of high-fiber cookies, possibly including prunes or oatmeal. Anyone have any prune-ish ideas? I've found recipes that use prune fillings, but don't know if that's really all that beneficial in terms of fiber. I'm going to try a classic oatmeal-raisin cookie with chopped prunes instead of raisins...

Edited by perrik
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My father has requested some sort of high-fiber cookies, possibly including prunes or oatmeal. Anyone have any prune-ish ideas?

I have an old family recipe from my mom (and probably her mom) for oatmeal sandwich cookies that you spread with a date mixture. They're really hearty and good - we always called them "camping cookies" because they seemed like the perfect food to take camping (even though our family never camped). Let me know if you're interested and I can send you the recipe when I get home from work tonight.

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How do you deal with stress? I bake cookies. Here I sit, trying to concentrate on my notes - ha! - for a program I'm putting on work tomorrow. So what have I been doing this afternoon? Baking cookies. Specifically, ones a co-worker fell in love with and asked me to make. Here's my recipe, such as it is, for my favorite cookie. (Yep, more procrastinating via donrockwell.com).

Pie Crust Spirals

Make a pie crust -preferrably with lots of butter. Divide in two pieces if necessary. Roll into a very thin rectangle. Spread generously with good quality butter, and sprinkle liberally with lots of cinnamon sugar. Use extra cinnamon. Roll up as tightly as you can and pinch to try to seal the seam (otherwise the cookies unwind a bit as they bake). If you roll them lengthwise, you get lots of tiny cookies. If you roll widthwise, you get a few ginormous cookies. If the rectangle is more of a square, you get a moderate amount of medium-sized cookies.

Cut into even slices no more than half an inch thick (I think). Place on baking sheets and bake at 375 until lightly browned. Remove immediately to a rack to cool.

yours, woefully unprepared,

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When I was a wee lass, I experimented with cake mix and discovered that it could be used to make addictive cookie-shaped cakes. I have no idea how I did it... extra flour added to the batter, maybe?

One of our favorite cookies at the ancestral Chen homestead is the lemon cookie, made with one box of lemon cake mix, one egg, and one eight-ounce block of cream cheese. Drop on a cookie sheet, bake til you see a tiny hint of brown. You frost them with the juice from a couple lemons mixed up with confectioner's sugar til it looks about right. Easy peasy.

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One of our favorite cookies at the ancestral Chen homestead is the lemon cookie, made with one box of lemon cake mix, one egg, and one eight-ounce block of cream cheese. Drop on a cookie sheet, bake til you see a tiny hint of brown. You frost them with the juice from a couple lemons mixed up with confectioner's sugar til it looks about right. Easy peasy.

We used to make "Cool Lemon Softies" with a box of Lemon Cake Mix and a small container of cool whip. Roll balls of the VERY sticky dough in powered sugar and bake. YUM!

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This weekend tried a new to me recipe from KA Cookie Companion--almond cardomom cookie. Basically, it's a Russian tea cake/mexican wedding cake/call it what you will cookie (all butter, no eggs). The sugar was 10X, which i don't remember from previous incarnations. I blitzed the almonds in the food procesor, so some were meal, and the biggest was 2mm(approx!) in diameter. Flavored with almond extract and cardomom--intensely cardamom flavor in the dough, less so in the finished product. In future renditions, i would add more (I really like cardamom). For the crowd I was serving them to, it was probably just the right amount.

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Help! I'm in search of a soft oatmeal cookie recipe. I tried Roland Mesnier's version (from Dessert University), which had excellent flavor but were thin and chewy. I like them like that, but my father (who requested oatmeal cookies in the first place) prefers softer cookies. I tried altering the recipe to use shortening and baking powder instead of butter and baking soda, but that didn't cut down much on the spreading. The recipe from Baker's Manual creates cookies with less spread, but they're still chewier than dad prefers. Does anyone know of a recipe that produces a softer version? I'm tempted to just mix up my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with oatmeal instead of chips. (hey, that could work...)

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Help! I'm in search of a soft oatmeal cookie recipe. I tried Roland Mesnier's version (from Dessert University), which had excellent flavor but were thin and chewy. I like them like that, but my father (who requested oatmeal cookies in the first place) prefers softer cookies. I tried altering the recipe to use shortening and baking powder instead of butter and baking soda, but that didn't cut down much on the spreading. The recipe from Baker's Manual creates cookies with less spread, but they're still chewier than dad prefers. Does anyone know of a recipe that produces a softer version? I'm tempted to just mix up my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with oatmeal instead of chips. (hey, that could work...)

I believe that the recipe inside the lid on Quaker Instant Oats produce a rather chewy cookie.

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Perri--have you tried the KA Cookie Companion?  I haven't looked through it for oatmeal cookies, but it's fairly comprehensive.  They might have something you like.

Here is the Soft Oatmeal Cookie recipe from the KA Cookie Companion (which is a great book, definitely worth buying):

Cream together:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup brown sugar

Add:

1 large egg, beaten

Beat until fluffy and then beat in:

6 Tbsp. sour cream or yogurt (reg. or low-fat, not non-fat)

2 tsp. vanilla

Stir in:

1 cup raisins (optional)

2 cups rolled oats

In a separate bowl mix together:

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/2 cups unbleached AP flour

Add one cup of the flour mixture at a time to the butter/sugar/oatmeal mixture, incorporating well after each addition. Then stir in:

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Allow mixture to rest 15-30 minutes and then bake tablespoon-sized scoops of dough at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly-browned.

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Here is the Soft Oatmeal Cookie recipe from the KA Cookie Companion (which is a great book, definitely worth buying):
I tried a recipe for Rolled Oatmeal Cookies last week that I found on the King Arthur website -- here -- which now that I'm reading this thread is essentially the same recipe as KA's soft oatmeal cookie recipe above, except the Rolled Oatmeal cookie recipe calls for buttermilk instead of sour cream or yogurt. And, contrary to what the preface to the Rolled Oatmeal Cookie recipe says, these cookies were soft as mktye's recipe title states, not chewy. They didn't spread very much, and I thought they could be sweeter but then I was tasting a plain cookie so maybe that's why (I made some with raisins and some without, since I don't like raisins).
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This weekend I made cookies from the New Best Recipe cookbook--Double-Chocolate Chewy Cookies (the recipe offers the option for "triple" chocolate, but I hadn't the chips on hand)

The recipe is really good...almost like a brownie in a cookie, but not quite. The only issue is that the recipe recommends using a 1 and 3/4 inch ice cream scoop (!) and says that it yields 42 cookies....I used a 1 1/4 inch scoop, and only yielded 35 cookies (maybe 36 if I hadn't sneaked a bit of the uncooked dough :unsure: )

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...only yielded 35 cookies (maybe 36 if I hadn't sneaked a bit of the uncooked dough ;) )

If that recipe had been made in my house, we'd be lucky if 18 cookies had come out of the oven. My wife and kids prefer the raw dough to the baked cookies. :unsure:

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I almost always sub other dried fruit for raisins in oatmeal cookies. I especially like tart cherries or dried apricot.
Great idea! Other dried fruits in my oatmeal cookies sound much more appealing to me than raisins. :unsure:
This weekend I made cookies from the New Best Recipe cookbook--Double-Chocolate Chewy Cookies (the recipe offers the option for "triple" chocolate, but I hadn't the chips on hand)

The recipe is really good...almost like a brownie in a cookie, but not quite. The only issue is that the recipe recommends using a 1 and 3/4 inch ice cream scoop (!) and says that it yields 42 cookies....I used a 1 1/4 inch scoop, and only yielded 35 cookies (maybe 36 if I hadn't sneaked a bit of the uncooked dough ;) )

A few months ago, I made Jacques Torres' Chocolate Mudslide cookies - NYTimes recipe here - which are also like a brownie in a cookie and were very good especially the day that they were made but overall didn't seem worth it in terms of chocolatey bang for your buck given the crazy amount of chocolate the recipe calls for (38 ounces!).
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I would like to recommend browsing throught this web site, Part II of a Cookie Swap collaboration on Il Forno, especially the cardamom pistachio chocolate dipped cookies :unsure: ; a fresh bottle of cardamom really made the cookies addictive.

I also love these oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate chips and these with chocolate, dried apricots, cherries and pecans.

Finally, has anyone here mentioned Korova cookies of Pierre Herme? Greenspan says they're great with addition of currants that have been soaked in rum and she's right.

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A few months ago, I made Jacques Torres' Chocolate Mudslide cookies - NYTimes recipe here - which are also like a brownie in a cookie and were very good especially the day that they were made but overall didn't seem worth it in terms of chocolatey bang for your buck given the crazy amount of chocolate the recipe calls for (38 ounces!).
I've made these as well. I agree they are tasty but also agree that they can get pricey if you go with good chocolate. They are also fairly messy to make. For the effort, I'd rather just make brownies if I'm in the mood for that heavy chocolate (love Alice Medrich's cocoa brownies) or Herme's korovas if I'm in the mood for something less dense but still very chocolately.
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I've made these as well. I agree they are tasty but also agree that they can get pricey if you go with good chocolate. They are also fairly messy to make. For the effort, I'd rather just make brownies if I'm in the mood for that heavy chocolate (love Alice Medrich's cocoa brownies) or Herme's korovas if I'm in the mood for something less dense but still very chocolately.
I agree, I tried the Korova recipe last week, and they were chocolatey enough for me (though I'll admit, I'm not a big chocoholic.)

On a non-chocolate note, I really like the molasses cookies using this recipe. I made it using her modifications of using turbinado sugar to roll the cookie dough in before baking. I don't like plain molasses, but I really like ginger snaps, and these cookies have a ginger snap flavor and are on the sweet side. I baked them longer because I was going for a crunchy cookie, and they were still soft on the inside even when I took them out after baking them much longer than the recipe called for. By the next day though, the middle of the cookie had crisped up, so if you're going for chewy, definitely don't overbake them. This is the only molasses cookie recipe I've tried though, so will have to try others to compare.

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