Step 1In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Step 22. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly combined.
Step 33. Beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture just until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, then beat in 1/2 of the molasses. Beat in 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the molasses, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Finally, beat in the last of the flour mixture until combined. Stir in the dried pears and walnuts. Cover the dough and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Step 44. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the chilled dough to form each cookie, rolling the dough in sugar. Space the balls about 3 inches apart and press to slightly flatten the balls.
Step 55. Bake the cookies, 2 sheets at a time, until the cookies are cracked on top but still soft to the touch, about 12 minutes. Rotate the trays halfway through cooking for even baking. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then transfer to racks to cool completely.