Sunday, December 23, 2012

Do You REALLY Need Molasses in Molasses Cookies?

by Leann

This is the last day of our cookie extravaganza and I offer up a very old family recipe that also appears in our cookbook, The Cozy Chicks Kitchen. I make these every year at Christmas and everyone LOVES them. The recipe came from my husband's mother's neighbor, Mrs. Jones. They are an interesting cookie, because the first taste doesn't blow you away but for some reason, they get better and better with every bite.

The first time I made them, we had only been married a few years and unfortunately, these are rolled cookies and the dough came out so sticky, I couldn't roll them out, no matter what I did. My husband and I ended up in a very fun and memorable cookie dough fight.

The next year, I decided something was very wrong that recipe--and not wrong with my ability. My grandmother had been a baker and I had learned at the hand of a master. Sure enough an extra cup to cup-and-a-half of flour cured the problem of the sticky dough. The recipe had probably been read off the top of Mrs. Jones to Mike's mom. In other words, it had probably never been written down before. 60 years ago, lots of folks just went by what they remembered and then what the dough looked like. We'd been given "approximations" that were wrong.

Being in this rental house, all my books, including The Cozy Chicks Kitchen, are packed away somewhere. So my friend and fellow Cozy Chick Lorraine sent me the recipe that had been printed in the book. I looked at it and discovered--NO MOLASSES!!! All the ebook copies of the cookbook readers have downloaded are wrong! We fixed that, but if you already have the  book, add a cup of molasses right after adding the sugar--an make a note in your copy. (Embarrassing!) And I promise, these cookies are addictive!

Recipe for those who don't have the book:

1 cup shortening (not butter or cookies will fall apart)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp baking soda
5 1/2-6 cups of flour

Preheat the oven to 375ยบ Mix the ingredients in the order given. Make sure the dough is a little sticky but when pressed together, doesn’t fall apart. If it does, add a little more flour. These cookies are very dependent on the humidity where you live, so you may have to play with the recipe.Divide the dough into two or three sections; wrap each section in waxed paper (best, though plastic wrap will work) and chill for at least 2 hours, but better overnight. Spread cutting board or counter with a dusting of flour and roll out the dough to about ½ inch in thickness. Cut with cookie cutter. (We use a biscuit cutter—round with scalloped edges.)

Bake 8-10 minutes. Do Not Overbake! Cool on wire baking racks and then frost with a confectioners’ sugar vanilla frosting. Let them sit until the frosting hardens and then store in sealed containers. If you leave them out, they will be more like ginger snaps. Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Don't forget about the Cozy Chicks Kitchen, which has many of our favorite recipes!

  Read all about it here. 

Remember--we have bookplates signed by the Chicks. Let us know if you need one and we'd glad to send you one for your copy.

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