Inspired by Dancing Deer's Molasses Clove cookies and adapted from my Chubby Chewy Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies.
Note: I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour for this recipe. I love it. I think you could substitute it for all-purpose flour, in which case, decrease the butter to 2 sticks. —mrslarkin
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Mrslarkin is a pastry chef from Pound Ridge, NY, where she sells her baked goods at regional farmers markets.
WHAT: A chewy and spice-filled whole wheat cookie that's as huge as it is delicious.
HOW: Make a basic cookie dough, but sweeten it with molasses and spike it with cinnamon and cloves. Roll it into huge balls and give them a spin through turbinado sugar before popping them in the oven.
WHY WE LOVE IT: One bite of this cookie and you'll be inspired to pour yourself a tall glass of milk for dunking. This is exactly the type of cookie we turn to for an after-dinner treat: The spices balance the sweetness, creating a cookie that bridges the transition from savory to sweet with every milk-soaked bite. —The Editors
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line 2 or 3 heavy-duty cookie sheets with parchment paper. (I can fit 8 cookies to a sheet pan, as my pans are quite large, so I use 2 sheet pans.)
Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars on medium/low speed for 3 minutes. On low speed, add the molasses, then the salt, spices, and baking soda.
Add eggs one at a time at medium/low speed and beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add flour and mix on low speed until incorporated, then mix at medium speed for 10 seconds to make sure all of the spices are incorporated.
Using a large cookie scoop, scoop dough balls that are about 3 ounces each (smaller than a tennis ball, but bigger than a ping pong ball). With your hands, roll dough into balls to smooth the edges.
Roll tops of cookie dough balls in turbinado sugar in a shallow bowl and place sugar-side-up 2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Press balls very gently with the back of a fork or your fingers to slightly flatten. (I use a flat-bottomed, 3 inch-wide measuring cup to press the dough until it's about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high.)
At this point, cookies can be frozen and baked off at a later time. Place them in the freezer on the parchment-lined baking sheets overnight or for several hours. (I prefer this freezing method as I'm convinced it produces a chewier cookie, but I could also just be imagining it all.)
Bake the cookies, either frozen or unfrozen, for 16 minutes (if you're baking from frozen, remember that they should be placed a few inches apart). Rotate the pans back-to-front and top-to-bottom after the first 8 minutes, then return to oven for 8 more minutes and start checking for doneness. Bake for no more than 18 minutes -- if you over bake the cookies, they won't be chewy. Remove your cookies when the edges feel set and the centers feel not quite done. I usually pull my cookies on the early side, as they continue to cook once removed from the oven. I haven't tried these in a small size, but if you do, bake them for less time.
When done, remove from oven, and slide the cookies, parchment and all, onto a cooling rack.
Store cooled cookies in an airtight cookie jar or sealed plastic bag. They stay chewy for days.