Sweet, rich, spicy and wonderfully complimented by the applesauce.
Growing up, one off my favourite desserts was my mom's gingerbread and applesauce. It's cake-style, not cookie, and if you don't know, my mom makes the best applesauce in three counties.*
It's a simple cake recipe, but uses an entire cup of molasses. My mom would use blackstrap, which lends such an intense molasses flavour and colour to it. I did a bit of research into the different types of molasses, and found a few interesting bits:
1) Fancy is sweeter and lighter. Also known as first, from the first boiling of the cane. 2) Dark is from the second boiling. 3) Blackstrap is the third and final boiling and has the least sugar and darkest colour.
On to the baking:
Cream: 1/2 c. shortening and 1/2 c. sugar.
Whisk in: 1 egg, 1 c. molasses, fresh grated ginger. (I bought fancy molasses without knowing how much lighter it would be. In the future I would go with dark or blackstrap.)
Mix: 2 1/2 c. flour 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground cloves 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp ginger (if you don't use fresh ginger)
Add dry to wet, alternately adding dry with 1 c. hot water. Bake at 350 F for 45 min.