Colleen Ries' delightfully chewy and delicious cookies topped more than 325 entries in 1995 to win her the grand prize. Ries said she learned to bake alongside her grandmother, who used to save her seven cookies and write one letter of her name on each. These cookies can be left plain or be decorated or glazed as desired.
- Yield: About 5 dozen cookies
- 21/4 Cups all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring
- 2 Teaspoons baking soda
- 1 Teaspoon each: ground cloves, ginger, cinnamon, salt
- 3/4 Cups (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 11/2 Cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 Cup molasses
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Have ungreased baking sheet(s) ready. Sift together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt; set aside.
2. Beat the butter and 1 cup of the granulated sugar in large bowl of an electric mixer on high speed until light, 1 minute. Add the egg and molasses; mix well. Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.
3. Using about 11/2 teaspoons dough for each, roll dough into balls. Roll in the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar so they are fully coated. Arrange on baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. If you prefer a thin, crisp cookie, they may be flattened with a glass that has been dipped in sugar.
4. Bake until set, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.