If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that I just got back from a weekend trip to New York City. There’s really nothing quite like New York. The avenues of skyscrapers, the hustle and bustle of people, and everything that makes New York the vibrant city that it is! It’s incredible — whatever you want to do, the city has it. Want to spend your days hopping between Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery and Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar? Done. Conversely, want to spend your evening playing FIFA, watching three Xbox movies in a row, and having two different kinds of delivery sent to your door without ever picking up the phone? You got it. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

Sometimes I wonder what my life be like if I’d moved to New York City when I’d initially planned. Back when I graduated from college, my friend Leah and I had big plans to move to the city and live together as roommates. You know, the typical liberal arts college student’s dream. It eventually didn’t pan out, and I ended up getting my first job in San Francisco instead.

While I don’t regret any of my past experiences in San Francisco, Denver, and everywhere else I’ve lived, I do sometimes daydream about the life I would have in New York instead. What neighborhood would I have live in? Would I be avoiding Manhattan’s expensive rent and hipstering it up in Brooklyn, hanging out in the trendy patio bars of Williamsburg? Or would I be shelling out a fortune for a tiny studio in the classic Manhattan neighborhoods I adored, like Nolita or the East Village? Would I be one of these waif-thin, fashionably dressed people I admired on the streets with the $300 shoes and obscure designer labels? Heck, would I even be working in the same industry and job that I’m working now? Or running this blog, even?

In any case, I made these cracked ginger-molasses cookies in honor of one friends in New York who has a particular fondness for them:

Julie had actually asked me to make ginger-molasses cookies back when we lived together over the summer, but I’d avoided making them, giving one paltry excuse after another. Truth be told, I always get this way when I get special requests from good friends — I’m not great with pressure! I didn’t want to just whip up a mediocre recipe that wouldn’t live up to her expectations; so although I shuffled my feet and hemmed and hawed around her, I actually started secretly testing ginger-molasses cookie recipes.

And after nearly six months, I finally found one:

What makes these ginger-molasses cookie recipe the best? First of all, as you can see in the picture above, they make beautiful cookies that crack perfectly as they cool. But what’s more important is the way that they taste. With a generous portion of ginger, allspice, and cloves, these cookies definitely have a spicy KICK to them that’s balanced out by the sweetness of the blackstrap molasses. The molasses also lends the cookies a hearty, chewy texture that defines my perfect cookie.

And as for my musings about my perfect life in New York, although it’s fun to imagine how things could have been, at the end of the day I’m quite happy in Portland.  Admittedly, Portland’s never going to have the glamor, energy, hustle and bustle of New York. But that’s why I love it. The cheap rent, the abundant amount of space filled with lush green trees, and the quaint little craftsman homes. How you can still get good, New York City quality food at cheap prices. Or ride your bike across major streets without fearing for you life and feeling like you’re going to die. These are the things I love about Portland and that’s why I gladly chose this city as my home.


Get the Recipe: Ginger Molasses Cookies Recipe

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For the Ginger Molasses Cookies

  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces or 128 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (2 ounces or 57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (3.5 ounces or 99 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (3 ounces or 85 grams) blackstrap molasses

For the Sugar Topping

  • ¼ cup (1.75 ounces or 50 grams) granulated sugar


For the Ginger Molasses Cookies

  • Make the cookie dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter. Beat on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 2 to 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the mixer to low and add the egg white and molasses and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Chill the cookie dough. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour, until the dough is scoopable.
  • Prep the oven and pans. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the sugar for the topping in a shallow bowl.
  • Assemble the cookies. Use a 1-Tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion the cookie dough into balls. Roll each in the sugar topping, covering them completely. Place the coated cookies at least 3 inches apart on the prepared sheet pans. Give each cookie dough ball a quick pat with your palm to slightly flatten them.
  • Bake the cookies. Bake one pan at a time for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges have set but the centers are still gooey. The cookies will look puffed when you pull them out of the oven, but will fall and crack into the perfect cookies as they cool. Cool the cookies on the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies have set and feel firm to the touch. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
  • Serve and store. Serve warm or at room temperature. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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Michelle holding Weeknight Baking cookbook covering her face.

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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.

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