Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Molasses Spice Cookies
It is really starting to get cold, -35º F (below zero) is expected by Wednesday, and it is getting close to the holidays so those two things always turn my thoughts to cookies. My grandma Stejer was a big baker, she sent boxes of cookies to us for years. I even have pictures of one of my sons (now 23) eating Grandma's cookies in his blue footie pajamas when he was 2. I love the memory of someone caring for us so much, they went to the trouble of baking and sending cookies so we could enjoy them. I hope I do that enough for my boys.
Grandma Stejer holding my mom on the Montana Ranch (about 1938).
I loved the sugar cookies with the frosting, nothing is too sweet for me! Grandma always sent these molasses cookies and I always turned my nose up to them. Give me chocolate chip, sugar cookies or those balls of cookies coated in powdered sugar. YUM!
Luckily, I grew up (in spite of all the sugar) and so did my taste buds. Now don't get me wrong, if you want to send me a box of frosted sugar cookies or chocolate chip, I'll happily take care of them for you, but now I do love a spicy molasses cookie. Just the smell of them in my house reminds me of my Grandma and all the warm feelings of the holidays.
These molasses cookies are especially good. The spiciness of the ginger, cinnamon and cloves gives the whole house a wonderful aroma when they bake. I make them with a #40 scoop and they are big enough that one will be enough, but not too big that you can't manage two. They are crispy on the edges and chewy in the centers. A perfect cookie to start the cookie season off to a spicy start.
My Grandma would be proud.
Molasses Spice Cookies
adapted from Perfect Cookies 2008, Fog City Press
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp. orange zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground giner
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
sugar for coating
In a large bowl, combine the shortening, butter and brown sugar. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg, molasses and orange zest and beat until blended.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginder, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture and mix on low speed just until blended. Cover and refrigeratie the dough until it is firm, at last 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. Pour some sugar for coating into a shallow bowl.
With dampened hands, shape the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls; you should have about 30 balls. Roll each ball in sugar to coat evenly. Arrange the sugar-coated balls on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
Bake until the cookies are pale golden and cracked on top, about 12 minutes; the cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets on wire racks for about 1 minute. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
November 15, 2011 Daylight 6 hours, 20minutes, 33 seconds Current temperature -28º F