Saturday, January 5, 2013

Molasses Crinkles

Molasses Crinkles

That's a pretty nice looking cookie, don't you think?
I am amazed what nice pictures I can get using my little "point and shoot"  SONY Cyber-shot camera.

I made these just before Christmas and again today... since they were so stinkin' good!

Somehow it did not feel much like Christmas...
But after we finally got some snow and I finally made these cookies...
It felt like Christmas.

As I was baking these cookies, it occurred to me that this is one of the recipes from which I learned to bake.  I think some of my earliest memories as a kid were baking in the kitchen with my mom.  Good, good memories. The recipe comes from my Mom's copy of a cookbook called "Better Crocker's Best Cookies."  Growing up, we baked lots of recipes from this book.  I love that my copy of the recipe has my mom's handwritten notes for tripling the recipe.  Yes, the cookies are so good you may as well make a triple batch if you are going to make them.  I am sure your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and Santa will approve.  My mom always made these at Christmastime but they are good any time of year.

I am pretty certain my mom still bakes these cookies now and again.  Somehow, I think hers are a little better but if you give this recipe a try, I am sure you'll have great results.

Molasses Crinkles

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup soft shortening (I use 3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco stick)
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses (I use Grandma's brand Unsulphered Original Molasses)
1 cup packed light brown sugar

In a large bowl, mix shortening, sugar, egg, and molasses thoroughly. 

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon; stir with a whisk to combine.  [This cook book specifies you should measure the flour by the dipping method: dip the measuring cup into the flour to fill the measuring cup and then sweep the cup level with the back of a knife].

Add flour mixture into shortening mixture and stir well until combined.  Chill the dough (sometimes I skip chilling the dough and the cookies turn out fine).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Dip tops in granulated sugar. Place balls, sugar side up, 3 inches apart on greased baking sheet (or parchment lined baking sheet).  Sprinkle each with 2 to 3 drops of water.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until set but not hard [The recipe specifies baking for 10 to 12 minutes but I find that less is better.  I kind of under-bake the cookies so they stay soft and tender. When I remove them from the oven, I allow them to sit on the hot cookie sheet for a few minutes to firm up a bit].

I love that this cookbook has little bits of history sprinkled throughout...

From a cookbook called "Better Crocker's Best Cookies"

The Best Cooky of 1930 to 1935 * Molasses Crinkles *

After the stock market crash, money was scarce and families enjoyed simple pleasures like reading aloud, taking nature hikes, and visiting friends - all occasions for the chewy, hearty cookies like these. 

Molasses was the chief sweetener in American homes in the 18th and early 19th centuries.  Every cabin and covered wagon had its molasses jug; it was used in baking and eaten on flapjacks and on bread. Today, molasses is used more for its rich, mellow flavor than for its sweetening.

I made a vegan version of these cookies HERE.

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