Molasses Spice Cookies with Dark Rum Glaze
Adapted from The Complete America's Test Kitchen Cookbook
Makes 22

1/3 cup (about 2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for dipping
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed (2 1/3 ounces) dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup light or dark molasses

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup sugar for dipping cake pan or shalllow bowl.

Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.

In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (a hamd mixer works fine too), beat butter with brown sugar and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and add yolk and vanilla; increase speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses; beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to lowest setting; add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl once. Give dough a final stir by hand to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. Dough will be soft.

Using tablespoon measure, (I use my small Pampered Chef Scoop-Love it!) scoop heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it between your palms into 1 1/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch ball; drop ball into cake pan or bowl with sugar and repeat to form about 4 balls. Toss balls in sugar to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake, one sheet at a time and reversing position of baking sheet from front to back halfway through baking, until cookies are browned, still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone), about 11 minutes. Do not overbake.

Cool the cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack; cool cookies to room temperature and serve.

While cookies are cooling make the Dark Rum Glaze:
Whisk 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (about 4 ounces) and 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons dark rum in medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies with spoon, and spread glaze around cookie with the back of the spoon. Allow glaze to dry for an additional 10 minutes.

If you don't like dark rum, I have heard lemoncello is a delicious substitute.