Dear Sarabeth: The Model Bakery right in the middle of St. Helena's old downtown area is one of Napa Valley's treasures. And they recently opened a second outlet in the town of Napa at the Oxbow Public Market. They were happy to share the recipe.
Model Bakery's molasses ginger cookies
Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling time for the dough
Servings: 2 1/2 dozen large cookies
Note: Pastry flour and crystallized sugar are available at cooking and baking supply stores, as well as at many well-stocked markets.
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup dark molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
8 cups (2 pounds) pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup coarse or sanding sugar, more as needed
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until each is incorporated. Add in the molasses and vanilla.
2. In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.
3. With the mixer running, begin adding the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until fully incorporated to form a dough. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the dough into balls. Roll each ball in the coarse sugar, then place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving 3 inches between each cookie.
5. Bake the cookies until lightly golden and set, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through for even coloring. Cool the cookies, then store in an airtight container.
Each cookie: 336 calories; 4 grams protein; 39 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 18 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 57 mg. cholesterol; 110 mg. sodium.
Send SOS requests to email@example.com or Culinary SOS, Food, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Please include your name, phone number and city of residence.