January 26, 2010

a surefire hit

"Roll in sugar." If you see that step in a list of recipe instructions, it's a pretty good bet that you have a winner on your hands.

Calories a la Mamster
After all, if we're talking about cookies (as we so often are), the result is a crunchy coating that hits the tongue first and explodes with sweetness before giving way to the central flavor of the little saucers.

The pucks of pleasure being brought to you in this post are a specialty of Mamma-jamma. For as long as I can remember, she's made these molasses cookies at some point during the Christmas season, as well as occasional instances throughout the year. I consider them to be somewhat magical because even though molasses is a flavor I don't find particularly enjoyable, neither wind nor rain nor dark of night could keep me from these soft, chewy, and aromatic discs.

Crackle!
The spicing is key. My favorite mother manages to find the perfect balance of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, causing the smell to yield almost as much satisfaction as the taste.

Truly, rolling cookie dough in sugar is one of the finest things you can do to it. That one simple step pretty much ensures that a delicious (and pretty) product will result.

Magical Molasses Cookies
3/4 cup shortening, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup granulated sugar

In a medium bowl, beat together the melted shortening, sugar, egg, and molasses. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375F. Form the dough into one-inch balls, and give 'em a good roll in the remaining sugar. Place the cookies onto ungreased baking sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks.

74 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A lovely cookie! So pretty!

Cheers,

Rosa

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

This looks beautiful! I love when cookies have the sugar on them like that. Thanks for sharing.

Ramya Manja said...

Delicious Cookies... Definitely a 'Super Hit'...

Thanks for sharing the recipe...

Gloria said...

This is so lovely a nd llok wonderful, gloria

Pam said...

You are so right. That sugary coating really makes a cookie. It's like the best part of a muffin all surrounding a cookie.

George Gaston said...

Oh my! A 'sugar' cookie with lots of flavor. I'd like a baker's dozen please...

Albany Jane said...

I would roll myself in sugar if I could.

I am so giving these a try.

... as soon as I finish up the molasses cookies already waiting to be baked at random in my freeaer. This is probably a lot sooner than I anticipate.

kat said...

sweet little tempting things!

Lisa said...

Those look amazing! Molasses is an amazing ingredient. Will have to make these.

♥peachkins♥ said...

they do look magical!

5 Star Foodie said...

Such a delicious cookie - sounds wonderful with molasses flavor and a sugar coating!

Marjie said...

"roll in sugar" is a clue to excellence!

Sophie said...

Georgous looking cookies!!!

MMMM,...Grace!!

Hungry Dog said...

Totally agree about the roll-in-sugar business. These look awesome. I love molasses cookies, I could eat a dozen of these.

Lucie said...

I have an open jar of molasses waiting to be used--can't wait to bake these! Thanks Grace!

Habbala said...

I laughed out loud at the "if it says roll in sugar, it's a winner". It's SO true. My favorite are Snickerdoodles, but these look divine!

Anonymous said...

For people who don't care for molasses, use half molasses and half honey.

Josie said...

The best is licking your fingers after rolling the cookie dough in the sugar *swoon*. It is all crunchy and sugary and cookie dough-y. Yum :)

Melanie said...

You had me at "roll in sugar." These cookies look utterly delightful. Your mother is quite amazing.

oneordinaryday said...

I'd like to find them in my cookie jar, even if it wasn't Christmas.

Jessica said...

Cookies with a crunchy, sugary coating are my favorite!

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Haha! I love AlbanyJane's comment! I would roll myself in sugar too! LOL! Great recipe! I have some leftover molasses I need to use up. Can't wait to try this.

Lindsey@pickyeatings said...

All I can say is yum.

Bellini Valli said...

These are similar to my friends ginger cookies......so so addictive!!!!!!!!!!!

Ingrid said...

So if I coat my pan in butter and sugar that will guarantee that my bars are extra delicious?
~ingrid

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ahh the timeless trick to cookies (and life). Just roll in sugar and all will be right :)

lisa said...

Amen to cookies rolled in sugar! And to molasses. These look fantastic!

Robin Sue said...

Smells good to me! Now if I can only roll Himself in sugar- hehe!

Pam said...

I love spicy cookies and if you roll them in sugar they are even better! These look mighty tempting Grace.

Kate said...

these sound fabulous! the Kitchen Gnome has been rummaging....looking for sweets...maybe I could accommodate him with these!! They do look incredible!

Sook said...

Those cookies look perfect! I'm so craving it right now! :)

Julie said...

These look just perfect. I've tried rolling myself in sugar but it just never quite works out.

foodhoe said...

mmm, I bet your kitchen smelled divine..

shaz said...

They certainly sound magical Grace! Very keen to give this a go soon - those spices are caling me :)

Barbara said...

I love it. A crunchy, sugar coated chunk of gingerbread! Haven't made these in years, Grace. I love the spices. Hurray for Mamma-jamma!

Faith said...

These look fantastic, Grace! I love molasses cookies...the chewy interior and crunchy sugar exterior are the perfect balance. And those spices sound phenomenal!

Bridgett said...

I can smell those baking from here with all the wonderful spices and molasses. They look scrumptious! Please send me a dozen, ok?

Teanna said...

The spices do make the cookie! That cookie looks AMAZING. I would eat, like, 100 of them. Seriously.

Sophie said...

Molasses is one of those funny ingredients--I have a love/loathe relationship with it lol. Once I made this gingerbread that had WAYYY too much molasses, just one slice of bread stained my counter! However, when just the right amount of the stuff used in a recipe... it's quite magical--and these cookies are just that, especially since they're covered in sugar! They certainly yummy for the holidays, but I could easily enjoy them year-round :).

TKW said...

Craving one with a cup of tea about now!

Leslie said...

"Roll in sugar" oh yes in deed. That does make a perfect cookie

The Teacher Cooks said...

Great looking cookies. I do like the roll in sugar.

Jennifer said...

rolled in heaven!!! YUM!

The Blonde Duck said...

Everything should be rolled in sugar.

Chef Aimee said...

Mmmm...sugary bliss! What great looking cookies!

WizzyTheStick said...

Roll in sugar. Okay. Wait you mean the cookie not me! Phew I was about to dive in LOL Love love molasses so right away these cookies are a winner for me.

megan said...

I've been looking for a new molasses cookie recipe...not totally happy with my current one. this one looks great!

Jennifer said...

I don't like molasses either. Even the smell is so awful but they do look like pretty cookies, rolling in sugar always helps.

Sandie {Inn Cuisine} said...

Grace, these cookies are the monkeys' meow! ;)

For what it's worth, I completely agree with you, "roll in sugar" typically indicates a winner! Plus, it's a step even the little ones can pull off AND it helps get them interested in baking.

Lynda said...

Oh yes, they must be rolled in sugar! molasses isn't my favorite flavor either, but my MIL made these delicious treats and they are to die for....your photo captures their beauty perfectly, Grace! Yes, they are beautiful, and yummy.

Lisa said...

I will try making these this weekend. They look yummy!

Amy I. said...

You've convinced me that I need to start rolling more things in sugar, STAT. I don't think I've ever rolled anything in sugar, I have some catching up to do! Your comment made my day... thanks Grace!

Y said...

Roll me in butter AND sugar! :P

Looks like a treat not to be missed. Of course, even if you did nothing more than whisper the words molasses + cookies, I would've been sold.

Cheri said...

Mmm.. my mom makes a gingersnap cookie similar to this. It's one of my favorites as well. I love the crackle they have once baked. Now if only I could find molasses!

Maria said...

Mmmmm cookies!

LilSis said...

Beautiful photos! I bet the cookies are great. I'm also not crazy about molasses. I just had to buy some for a barbeque sauce and I really don't like the smell or flavor, but it must add something magical to the cookies!

noble pig said...

Oh that's pur-tee. Love it.

Sharon said...

Ooh, yes these are certainly magical! Sugar, bring on the sugar baby.

culinography said...

Mmmm... I've got some molasses in the pantry that's been neglected for a while. Might be time for cookies!!

Lori said...

I LUV molasses cookies. Someone was doing a poll on one of the other blogs and asked what the favorite is. I voted molasses. Hmmmm, hmmm good.

Velva said...

These molasses cookies look really good! It is not possible, that only one would hit the spot. Nice!!!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Grace, you're just the cutest. Hope to meet one day!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

You've got me heading toward the pantry to check on my molasses supply. These look superb! Have you tried subbing butter for part or all of the shortening? I'm curious how that affects the cookies because I'm not such a fan of shortening.

www.dhaleb.com said...

These are some good lookin' cookies!

Von said...

It's definitely the sugar which caught my attention! They look so good!

Kate at Serendipity said...

I love molasses. These look like just the thing for a little nibble...

Kerstin said...

I completely agree about the sugar rolling :) I've actually never made molasses cookies but should because these look fabulous!

Amanda said...

LOL Oh my gosh... that first line totally cracked me up today!! Great looking recipe my dear!

Blessings-
Amanda

Laura said...

Hey it's our gingersnaps! And I agree--not normally a molasses fan, but it is heaven in this cookie. They look great!

Deborah said...

I should try these, because I, too, don't usually love molasses.

Carolyn Jung said...

I can't say that I've ever made a baked good that called for melted shortening.How interesting. Does this give it a different texture, perhaps?

tiffany @ the garden apartment said...

Truly, Grace, you are wise. Rolling in sugar certainly does make most cookies better. My mom also makes molasses cookies, and I'm a big fan as well.

Dee Light said...

Love Molasses cookies! They look delish!

Danielle said...

I think I'd have a hard time not eating more than several of them at a time