Today I decided to make these blond cookies based on the old style chewy molasses cookies. It started with my curiousity for sweetened condensed milk and how it could be utilized in other ways (i.e. I’ve seen SO many dulce de leche things lately that I’m no longer curious about making it). I figured it could replace other thick syrupy things like molasses. Since I love chewy molasses cookies, I decided to create a cookie based on these and thus My Blond Ambition was created!
Why Blond Ambition? I am a child of the 80’s and listened to Madonna until my ears nearly bled. Maddona’s Blond Ambition tour occurred in 1990, my senior year of high school. As I made these blond cookies all I could think about was Madonna and her music, so that became my preferred name for these spicy little cookies.
I started with a recipe for chewy molasses cookies and switched it to use entirely white sugar and increased to 2 eggs. I decreased the butter a bit and replaced molasses with sweetened condensed milk. I opted to use a spice blend more indicative of a gingersnap and threw in some cardamom and cayenne for kicks!
The dough came out pale as desired, and with a simple swipe of dough to my lips it seemed to have the right spice combination. Gingery flavor, followed by the other spices with just a hint of warmth at the end. This should be a new Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor!
My Blond Ambition (aka, blond ginger cookies?)
2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar (plus 1/3 cup to roll cookies)
1 4 oz. stick of butter, softened
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. cayenne
Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and condensed milk – mix until combined Add remaining ingredients, mixing until fully combined. The dough will be soft.
Use a spoon (or fingers!) to drop ~2 tablespoons of dough into the reserved 1/3 cup sugar. The dough is soft and sticky, so toss it with your fingers to coat in sugar. Once it is coated, you can handle it better. Roll between your two palms to form a ball, then place onto a greased or silpat lined baking sheet. Leave 2-3 inches between the balls.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. I slightly under bake them so they are more tender and chewy. Once they flatten and the centers puff up, I take them out — at about 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Makes about 2 dozen.
The cookies will flatten as they cool, but should remain soft and slightly chewy. The sugar creates a nice crinkly-crackly finish. They taste great — sweet and spicy. Next time, I might add in a bit more butter to make them thinner. I’m not sure if adding another egg would help to make them chewier (?). Having said this, they’re really good just the way they are! I think the spice blend works well and likely wouldn’t change it at all.