Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Favorite Cookie Recipe: Chewey Molasses Cookies

The impending snowfall brings out the cooking fever in me.  I only hope my son is able to make it home so I have help eating these!  I plan on sending him to work tomorrow with treats for the staff.  That's not over the top for an intern is it?  They keep nicely for several days in an airtight container.  But I need to get them out of the house.  I love them too much.

These cookies are based on a recipe from  The Silver Palate Cookbook, (Julie Rosso & Sheila Lukins). Judy brought them to Chelan one spring many, many years ago and I've been making them ever since.  Always when it snows.  I've adapted the recipe the way I do: mostly with shortcuts that reduce the amount of dishes used (and therefore need to be cleaned up afterwards).  They come out perfectly round and chewey/crispy: just right.  Like a chewey ginger snap. 

A few tips: the dough is quite moist.  Probably because it's made with melted butter.  It's important not to make the spoonfulls too full and to leave lots of room between them as they spread.  You cook them directly on foil.  This is important.  Don't take a shortcut.  Let them cool on the foil (I think they finish cooking up and firming on that and they are easy to pull off when they are done).

Chewey Molasses Cookies

Preheat oven to 350-degrees, with oven rack in the middle of the box.

  • 12 Tablespoons (1.5 sticks) butter
In a mixing bowl, put the butter and add:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
Beat together until butter is cooled.  Add:
  • 1 large egg
Leave the mixer running while you get out the dry ingrediants.  While the mixer is running add the following in this order, blending thoroughly between each addition:
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 taspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup more flour
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  Not your finger.  But taste it if you want.  It's gooooood!  The dough will be very moist. This is the way it should be.  Don't worry.  It all works.

Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Drop by a tablespoon onto foil leaving about three inches in between.  You should only be able to get about ten on each sheet.

 I use a small food scoop wich helps make the sizes consistent.

Cook for eight to ten minutes in center of heated oven.  When the first batch is cooking, step outside and breath in the fresh cold air.  Watch the birds and note the storm moving closer. 

In the meantime, the cookies will flatten out.  You are looking for the edges to just start darkening at which point you take them out.  The rest of the cookie will still look lighter colored and fluffy.

 In my oven each batch takes exactly nine minutes.  They will finish cooking on the foil when you take them out.  Pull the cookies on the foil off the sheet and put a new sheet of foil on.  Fill another sheet.  When the second batch is cooking make yourself a latte.  You deserve it.  Take one of the freshly baked cookies and dunk it in your latte.  There will be a party in your mouth.  You will declare this a favorite recipe.  I am sure of it.

When the third batch is cooking check Facebook and your email.  Something important may have happened.  When the fourth and final batch is cooking wash up all the dishes.  You will have just enough time.  And the cookie sheet won't need to be washed because the cookies were cooked on the foil.  It's a great deal.  You will be so glad the dishes are washed when you are done.  You can leave the kitchen or start on dinner.  Depends how domestic you are feeling and how deserving your family is.  When the foil has cooled you can peel the cooked cookies off.  This recipe made 42 cookies, each about 2.5 inches accross.  Store in airtight container.  Buon Appetito!

FYI, the yellow dessert plates were a gift from my father.  He picked them up in Provence, France for me several years ago.  I had seen an article in Gourmet Magazine about colorful dessert plates from Provence and sent him with the request to find something I'd like.  I think he did really well.  I love using them.


KelleyM said...

What a lovely visual feast! I especially love your directions of what to do while each batch is baking... I really do think I must buy a latte machine - so that I can bake these cookies!

Lou Woods said...

Thanks Kelley. Though a latte machine is not necessary to make these cookies it is essential, in my opinion, to enjoying them. And enjoying life in general. Yes. Get one. You deserve. In the meantime, you can drop by anytime I'm home and I'll make you one.

heavy hedonist said...

Those look good. I'm a little stunned, too, as I use my SP cookbooks as my basic baking books-- yet I've never made these! Clearly, it's overdue.
My family is still searching for the recipe my Grandmother used for her molasses cookies, which were a different type-- tender, spicy cutouts with a jelly heart. Never had better, but I can't see forgoing molasses cookies till I find it.