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The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook: Featuring More Than 1,200 Everyday Recipes from America's Most Trusted Test Kitchen
Molasses Spice Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Dipping your hands in water when rolling the dough into balls will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and will help the sugar stick to the dough.
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup of the sugar in a shallow dish for coating and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, pepper, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat in the molasses until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds (the dough will be soft). Give the dough a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is combined.
4. Using wet hands, roll 2 tablespoons of dough at a time into balls, then roll in the sugar to coat and lay on two parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and the tops are cracked but the centers are still soft and underdone (peek through the cracks to check the centers), 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.
5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Ultimate Fudgy Brownies
Tasters far preferred the more complex flavor of bittersweet chocolate here over semisweet chocolate. Don?t feel like chopping chocolate for melting? Use bittersweet chocolate chips.
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square pan with foil, then coat lightly with vegetable oil spray. Melt the chocolates, butter, and cocoa in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly.
2. Whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour until no streaks remain.
3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes.
4. Let cool completely on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, before removing the brownies from the pan (using the foil) and cutting into squares.
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