It’s a snow day today! No, really. It’s actually snowing today! So much different than when the kids are usually out of school for a ‘snow day’. Around here, school is cancelled at the mere threat of snow. This year, they even cancelled school one day because it was too cold. Seriously.
A couple of inches of snow have fallen today so far, and we are due for up to eight inches more. My kids love to play outside in the snow making snow angels, and sliding down the hill in our back yard. It doesn’t matter to them that blades of grass are still peeking out from underneath the fluffy, glittering snow.
In my house, when it snows, I am obligated to make gingerbread cookies. My kids, shivering, with rosy little noses, and snow clumped mittens, trudge their way back to the house. When I open the door, I am greeted by cold, windblown pink cheeks and an open mouth. That is the only queue I need. In goes a warm gingerbread cookie and the kids are off on their way again.
The sweet orange zest keeps these cookies light and seemingly healthy while the spices, especially the ground ginger, leave a lingering warmth in your throat. In my house, these cookies are the perfect way to warm up on a snowy afternoon.
**I do not recommend using this recipe for cut-out cookies. This dough is too sticky to roll out, and spreads too much during baking for cut-out cookies.
**I recommend using a combination of granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Feel free to use all granulated sugar as the original recipe suggests, but the cookies will not be as soft and chewy.
**I use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop for even cookies.
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (12 tbsp)
- 1c granulated sugar
- ⅔c light brown sugar
- 1 large orange, zested
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup dark molasses
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, if desired.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat softened butter, granulated and brown sugars, and orange zest until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves.
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs, molasses, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- Add the egg mixture to the whipped butter mixture. Combine well.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour and spice mixture. Beat until combined.
- Place cookie dough mounds two inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with turbinado sugar before baking, if using.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until slightly puffed and golden brown.