The cookie is easy to make – it uses melted butter, so no creaming step is necessary. However, it does require a food processor to grind the dried fruit and ginger into the flour. If you don’t have one, you can leave those ingredients out (they actually come from an extra moist and spicy variation on the basic recipe), or finely chop them by hand (it helps with such sticky ingredients to use nonstick spray on the blade of your knife) and add to the dry ingredients for a different version, with a chunkier but still wonderful chew.
I have not accidentally omitted the eggs from the recipe; there aren’t any. Which means they can be made vegan by swapping margarine in for butter.
The dough is extremely sticky and needs to chill for at least half an hour before forming. It will still be unruly, but the dough balls needn’t be beautiful. Just get lumps onto the cookie sheet and all will be well.
We use Kraken black spiced rum, because it has a giant cephalopod on it. And because it’s delicious. (Try it in hot cider!) And because they did this.
Makes 16-20 cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup candied ginger
1/2 cup raisins and/or dates
1.5 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
A few grinds of black pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (4 oz) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses (I use Grandma’s Robust with the green label)
3 tablespoons dark rum, apple juice, or water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, candied ginger, and dried fruit. Process until the chunks are finely chopped and integrated with the flour. Dump into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the spices, salt, and baking soda.
Put the butter, brown sugar, molasses, and rum in a Pyrex measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl and melt together in the microwave (or melt together in a pan on the stove). Stir the melted mixture into the flour blend. The mixture will be very sticky. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375. Lightly grease two cookie sheets, or line with parchment or nonstick mats.
Use an overstuffed large cookie scoop or two spoons to make balls of about two tablespoons of dough, and place on cookie sheets, leaving two inches between them. Bake for 11 minutes, until they appear set around the edges. Remove from the oven and let rest on the cookie sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a rack to cool.
These are amazing warm with a glass of milk, but also keep well. For best results, move to an airtight container when they’re still just barely warm.