Necessity might not be the mother of invention, but I’d contend it’s at least a distant cousin. I bake dozens of chocolate chip cookies every day at the Honolulu Museum of Art, and, on the occasional Tuesday when my kitchen manager hasn’t yet made his weekly trip to Costco, I’ll open the cupboard to discover it’s time to start thinking outside the cookie box. That’s when I revisit my recipe rolodex in search of a batter worthy of competing with the famed chocolate chip.
I concocted this particular challenger based on the hunch that one could substitute pomegranate molasses for the more traditional variety in the chewy molasses cookies I’d enjoyed eating since childhood. Pomegranate molasses is most commonly found in middle-eastern cuisines, but—as I’ve mentioned before—unusual flavor combinations really trip my trigger. My suspicion paid off and the pomegranate molasses cookies sold out quickly the two days I made them for the museum.
I encountered a snafu, however, when attempting to remake them for Buttertooth—pomegranate molasses was nowhere to be found in the middle-eastern section of my local grocery store. Luckily Alton Brown came through with a relatively simple solution for a homemade molasses. The end result is a cookie playfully tottering between sweet and sour extremes. So please enjoy these cookies responsibly, or three at a time, as I’ve been known to on occasion. After all, it’s a cookie monster’s world, and we’re all just nomming in it.
- 2 cups pomegranate juice (I used POM)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tbsp lime juice
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine pomegranate juice, sugar, and lime juice. Allow to heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until mixture has reduced to ½ cup, anywhere from 70-90 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool before use in subsequent recipe.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- ⅓ cup pomegranate molasses
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- turbinado sugar, for rolling
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a large bowl, combine melted butter, egg, pomegranate molasses, and sugars and beat until incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.
- Chill dough for 30 minutes.
- Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll in turbinado sugar.
- Drop onto parchment-lined baking sheets at least two inches apart as dough may spread. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies crack on top and are set around the edges.
- Remove to wire racks to cool.