Molasses-Rye Spice Cookies

This molasses-rye variation is a combination of the traditional recipe and the rye-molasses version found in Ancient Heritage Cookies. It is packed with spices and orange zest. I’ve rolled these in coarse sparkling sugar, for an extra crunchy finish. These are one of my new holiday favorites.

Molasses-Rye Spice Cookies

Chilling Time: 3 hours or overnight

Makes about 40 cookies

1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour (170 grams)

2/3 cup whole-grain dark rye flour (80 grams)

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) vegetable shortening (96 grams)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (220 grams)

1 large egg, room temperature

1/4 cup molasses

1 tablespoon orange zest, finely chopped

Granulated or sparkling sugar, for rolling

In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, with speed set to high, beat butter and sugars 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg, molasses, and orange zest. Beat 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a medium cookie scoop, such as #60, form 2 teaspoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place on prepared sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until tops are cracked and cookies are firm to touch. Cool for 1 minutes on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies, still on the parchment, to wire racks to cool completely.

Store cookies in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 1 week.