Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grandma's Molasses Cookies

I remember visiting my grandparent's house one summer, when I was young.  I was playing outside on the farm and having a grand ole time.  Going back in the house, I found some molasses cookies that my grandma made and I helped myself.  They were delicious.  So, throughout the afternoon, on breaks from playing, I went back inside and had more cookies.  A kid's dream.  (I also remember having a huge stomachache that evening from all of the cookies.)  The delicious cookies, however, were not forgotten.

So when I got a request for a molasses cookie recipe, I immediately thought of my grandma's cookies.  I called her up and asked for the recipe.  She had this recipe (which may or may not be the original), but nonetheless, it's tasty.

Now, I generally stay away from gingerbread-y type things.  I've tried them, but I do not enjoy foods that feel like they're punching you in the taste buds (can you tell I'm not an adoring fan of staggering amounts of ginger?)  These cookies are great because the ginger is not overwhelming, but still gives you spice and warmth.

These cookies are tasty any time of year, but feel particularly appropriate on these dreary, cold, and all around icky winter days.  We all need a little warmth this time of year, why not in a comforting cookie?

Grandma's Molasses Cookies
(My grandma's recipe!)
Makes 2 dozen (although the original recipe was doubled so it makes a lot)

1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar in 1/4 cup milk)
1 tsp. baking soda

1/4-1/2 cup white sugar, reserved

Cream butter, shortening, and brown sugar.  Add in egg and molasses, and mix well.  In another bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients, and set aside.  In small bowl, combine buttermilk (or alternative soured milk) and baking soda.  Alternatively add in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture into butter and sugar mixture.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours.  This dough will be sticky.  Saying it's sticky before it's chilled is like saying Mt. Everest is a kind of a tall hill.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
After dough is chilled, scoop out tablespoons of dough, roll into balls, and roll in reserved white sugar.  Slightly flatten with glass.  Alternatively, this dough can be rolled out and cup into shapes.  I'm just a tad too lazy.

Bake for 10 minutes.  After you've removed it from the oven, let cookies sit on cookie sheet for a few minutes and then remove them to a cooling rack.


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