Monday, December 20, 2010

Molasses Sugar Cookies

The recipe for these cookies came from my aunt Nadine (she of the coffee cake and apple pancake). Most years, I make a giant batch of gingerbread cutouts, which I do for two reasons: I like to eat them straight out of the oven while they're still soft, and they really jazz up a cookie plate. This year, since I did all my baking in one manic day, cutout cookies were just not feasible.

Enter molasses sugar cookies. These cookies have the same ingredients as gingerbread cutouts with the addition of an egg, which helps them puff up in the oven and stay soft when they come out. So aside from retaining the texture of fresh-from-the-oven gingerbread cutouts, these cookies require way less work! Perfect.

Molasses Sugar Cookies

¾ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
¼ cup light unsulfured molasses (I didn't have light - regular worked great)
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375F.
Melt shortening. Pour into large bowl and let cool but not set. Mix in sugar, molasses, egg. (If you don't let the shortening cool enough, the egg will cook when you add it. Oops.) Combine flour, baking soda, and spices in small bowl. Stir dry ingredients into shortening mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. Shape into 1” balls and roll in sugar. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies have browned (I ended up going with 9 minutes; you can go longer if you want them to be crunchy). Cool completely.
Enjoy and share.


Rene said...

Oh these look wonderful! I love the way you shot the photo.

Amy & the house of cats said...

Oh those are pretty cookies - and oh, I understand about not doing cutouts when you do all the baking in one day - I tried it one year and it wasn't a pretty sight!

Cat said...

Wow, they sound fantastic!!! I love cookies when they are warm and soft too :-)

Nichole Fisher said...

those look delicious! definitely now on my "to try" list

Mona said...

these look amazing. I will have to try them out next time I have shortening and molasses in the house.

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Marley, and Laz) said...

They all look GORGUSS!

Marlene said...

Those look awesome! I shall have to try to make them

Mari said...

Natalie, how many 1" cookies did you get out of this batch? And how tight can they be crammed on the cookie sheet, how much do they swell up?

(...wanting to try the recipe, but not to end up with hundreds of cookies...)

Natalie said...

Mari: It was kind of a crazy baking day, so I don't remember how many cookies I ended up with. I found a few similar recipes online, though, and they listed yields between 24 and 48 cookies. I made mine a little on the bigger side so they'd be larger than the snowballs, so I was probably closer to the 24 end of the scale. The cookies increased in size by 1.5x in the oven when I made them, so I put them about 2" apart on the cookie sheet.