In the end, one loses count of the number of different gingerbread cookies that are found at this time. On the blog you can already find gingerbread cookie recipes that I have shared other years, like these with chocolate. And also the famous Spekulatius, which have a mixture of similar spices. Also, as you may have noticed, I have a little obsession with this style of pressed or printed cookies. But, as you will see in the photos, they are so beautiful!
In this year’s version of gingerbread cookies I wanted to add a very Spanish touch, in fact very typical of southern Spain. Molasses! This ingredient gives them a much sweeter and toastier flavor than traditional gingerbread cookies. In addition, this recipe does not contain eggs and you can replace the butter with vegetable oil, so it is very easy to make them suitable for vegans.
Returning to molasses, it is an ingredient that my mother has always loved. So these cookies kind of remind me of her. My mother was originally from a town in Jaén, and in those lands she makes a lot of use of the only molasses that is made in Spain. It is made in a beautiful town in Malaga called Frigiliana. I recommend you go visit it sometime, it is one of the most beautiful towns in the country!
My mother put a drizzle of molasses on the fried bread (picatostes in Spanish) and sometimes she soaked it like that in hot chocolate. What a bomb!! Another use that I love for molasses is to put some drizzle on the floured and fried eggplant! It may sound strange to you, but I encourage you to try it because it tastes great!
But let’s go back to cookies for a moment. Making pressed cookies with this type of wooden molds is not an easy task, I am not going to deceive you. It requires some practice and a lot of patience. I am going to leave you here a list of tricks to get them to fit perfectly! But for any questions you have, you know where to find me 😉
Measurement errors in liquids, flour and weather can affect the dough. Use your senses to decide if the dough will print well without sticking. You may need to use less or more flour than the recipe calls for. Do a test, and if it doesn’t work out, correct the dough.
Prevents them from sticking
Brush flour over pan with a clean, dry pastry brush to prevent sticking. Make sure that it goes well through all the details of the mold and do not spare flour.
Most printed cookies dry out 2-24 hours before baking (depending on the recipe, your schedule, humidity, etc.). Drying preserves the image during firing. This is super important, if you put the cookie in the oven right after it comes out of the oven, all the engraving will be lost. The trick that I have used for these is to freeze them for 1 hour. You can also put them in the fridge for 2 hours to ensure a good drying. In the fridge or freezer they will always dry better and faster than at room temperature.
Ovens vary widely! If your test cookie “puffs up too much” or droops, reduce the oven temperature. For small cookies, you may need to set the temperature as low as 150 degrees. Normal would be 170 degrees, or at least that’s what I use in my oven. In general, the smaller the cookie, the lower the temperature and the less time it will take. The larger the cookie, the longer the cooking time. These cookies that I have made, which are quite large, have been 13 minutes at 170 degrees with a fan. It is important that you do a test with 1 or 2 cookies first until you see how your oven behaves.
For very deep or large cookies like these, roll out a piece of dough the size of the cookie to the desired thickness. Press the dough into the mold with your fingers, working from the center out. You can lightly roll the back of the cookie to smooth it out before removing it from the pan. To remove it from the mold, carefully peel off one end. If the dough is at the ideal point, you will see that it slowly peels off. Pull it very carefully until it is completely removed. Place it on baking paper and trim the excess edges with a very sharp lace.
If you have tried this recipe, leave me a comment so I know if you liked it! You can also upload a photo to Instagram using the hashtag #caudesucre and tag @caudesucre so they can see it. I love reading and seeing your creations!!
Gingerbread molasses cookies
- 420g of flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g sugar
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 120 ml melted butter (or vegetable oil)
- 230 ml or molasses
- 2 tablespoons of water (only if necessary to correct the consistency)
In the mixer bowl put all the dry ingredients together. Pour all the liquid ingredients. Using the paddle attachment (or your hands if you don't have a mixer) mix until the dough holds together, adding 1-2 tablespoons of water only if necessary to bring the dough together. The dough should not crumble too easily or be too sticky. Just firm and compact.
Knead the dough on a flat surface, stretch it slightly until it is about 2 cm high. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1cm high. It will depend on the depth of the molds.
Using a pastry brush, flour the surface of your cookie sheet. Follow the instructions described in the post to press the dough into the mold and be able to remove it without problems.
Flour the mold again for each pressing.
Cut the excess edges of the cookie and place on baking paper to later let it dry in the manner described in the details of the post above.
Once dry, bake at 170ºC for 12 or 13 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie (read the tricks on baking in the post.
Let the cookies cool completely before storing in airtight containers.
You can make your dough ahead of time and refrigerate. I think it rolls a little easier if it's refrigerated. But with these simple molds you can mix the dough and make the cookies in no time. I like the taste of butter, but you can use vegetable oil and make them vegan friendly.