Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Operation Cookie Drop - Part II (Molasses Cookies)

The second recipe I made was Molasses cookies :) These cookies are fantastic straight out of the oven, but if you bake them so they're still a little soft in the middle, they're also good months later :D not that they ever really lasted that long, unless Momma hid them from us.

I didn't realize how strong the taste memory of these cookies was for me until I took a bite of one last night. Y'know that scene in Ratatouille where Ego is transported to his boyhood and his Maman consoles him with a nice bowl of ratatouille? It was almost like that for me with this soft, warm, cookie--instantly I was back in my pajamas on Christmas morning walking around the hushed house, decorations twinkling in the sparse light before dawn, hand full of cookies of all kinds, inspecting the present piles that were stacked in various chairs and around the tree.

As kids we loved when Momma made these cookies (well, we liked it when Momma baked anything--it was always tasty) because the dough was soooo good. Though... we didn't like having to let the dough firm up in the refrigerator (these days I put mine in a shallow container and freeze it for a half hour, rather than waiting several hours with it in the fridge). But, whenever the dough was ready, Momma would spoon out the right amount and let us roll it into a ball, roll the ball in the sugar, and put the dark, sugar-coated deliciousness on the cookie sheet. The youngest ones usually weren't allowed to roll the dough, but they could roll it in the sugar and put it on the cookie sheet :) Momma usually had to shift the cookie balls once on the sheet--we didn't always place them far enough apart [the more cookies on the sheet, the sooner they're done. The sooner they're done, the sooner we get to EAT THEM!]

But anyway, here's the recipe :)
3/4 c liquid shortening (a nice, not-strongly-flavored oil)
1 c sugar
1/4 c molasses
1 egg
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream oil, sugar, molasses and egg together. Sift together dry ingredients and add to wet until well combined.

Transfer to shallow container and refrigerate several hours until firm (or freeze for about 30 minutes).

When dough is firm, roll into 1" balls and coat balls in white sugar. Place on cookie sheet about 2" apart.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

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