Recipe courtesy of Marilynn Brass and Sheila Brass

Holiday Spice Cookies

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 9 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 20 min
  • Cook: 14 min
  • Yield: 48 cookies
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Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar, plus 3/4 cup, for rolling*

1 large egg

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup ginger jam, orange marmalade, or apricot jam

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest


  1. Place the oven rack in the center position of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a 14-by-16-inch baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny-side up. Spray the foil lightly with the cooking spray. 
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. 
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and 1 cup sugar. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and the sugar is dissolved. Beat in the egg. Add the molasses, jam, or marmalade, and orange zest and beat to incorporate. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients until well blended. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until firm enough to handle. 
  4. With floured hands or while wearing disposable gloves, break off 1 1/2 teaspoons dough and roll into a ball. Continue making the balls until all the dough is used. Roll the balls in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and place them onto the prepared baking sheet, spaced at least 1 1/2-inches apart, or 12 cookies per sheet, to allow for spreading during baking. Bake the cookies until golden brown, about 14 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet on a cooling rack, the cookies will firm up when they cool. Remove and store between sheets of parchment paper or wax paper in a covered tin.

Cook’s Note

You could also use a silicone liner. Coarse white sanding sugar may be substituted for the 3/4 cup granulated sugar used for rolling. Sanding sugar is available in most supermarkets, specialty food stores, and online.