Gram’s Recipe Box: Molasses Crinkles

“Co-o-o-o-o-o-kie!!”… I can’t help but hear the voice of my favorite Muppet character in my head around this time of year when the baking pans come out and every available space (including chairs, mantels and ironing boards) is made into an impromptu board for cooling cookies, cakes or bread.

This year especially most of our gifts for family and friends is going to come from the kitchen — economize, economize! Some recipes are perennial favorites, and are stored in a folder cleverly labelled “Holiday Recipes” in my filing cabinet (yes, they’re actually on paper!). Others are new, or as this year, newly-found old favorites.

An example of the latter are these Molasses Cookies, which came from a recipe I got from T’s grandmother over Thanksgiving weekend. Actually, Grandma Steff lent me one of her recipe boxes so I could scan in all her recipes! If you’ve followed this site at all, you know this was a gift of gold as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t wait to try something from her collection, and the molasses cookies are the first. I borrowed the idea of adding raw, or turbinado, sugar to the tops from other molasses cookie recipes — it adds a little holiday sparkle.

Tomorrow is Grandma Stephanie’s birthday, so we’ll have to send her some of these to help her celebrate her day.

This platter of Molasses Crinkles, Dark Chocolate Biscotti, Pecan Crescents and Almond-Anise Biscotti is going to join the party at Food Blogga’s “Eat Christmas Cookies” event. She’s accepting entries until the 21st, but there are already a wealth of recipes with photos on the site if you need some inspiration for this weekend’s blast of holiday baking. And if that’s not enough to get you going, all cookie lovers who submit an entry are eligible to win a cookie field guide. A party with door prizes — how can you pass up an invitation like that?!

GRAM’S GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES
(In Gram’s files, these are labelled “Christmas Cookies”)
Makes 4-6 dozen cookies, depending on size
Dough requires chilling for 2 or more hours before baking

1 cup shortening (used butter)
1 cup sugar (used raw sugar)
1 cup molasses (used blackstrap)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger

Cream shortening, then add sugar gradually, then molasses and beaten egg. Add dissolved baking soda to mixture.

Sift together flour, salt and spices. Add to creamed mixture and blend thoroughly. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Here is where I diverge from Gram’s directions. She rolls out the dough and cuts out shapes. I made 1” balls, laid them on an ungreased cookie sheet, flattened them with the bottom of a drinking glass, and sprinkled raw sugar on top. Some recipes say to dip the balls in sugar then flatten with a glass, but I discovered after the first batch that the sugar crystals flatten out too much and don’t look as attractive.

If making cut-outs, Gram recommends baking for 8-10 minutes. For the thicker cookie crinkles, bake for 13-15 minutes.

Cool on sheet for a moment, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

These are equally great with your morning coffee, Glühwein, or with a warm apple cider.

Happy Baking!