Aunt Lola, my great-aunt, made wonderful, soft, chewy molasses cookies that I loved as a child – almost as much as the date pinwheel cookies, or her apple jelly. Somewhere along the way, well after she passed, I came across her date pinwheel recipe, and make those on occasion, but they are a ton of work. I never did find her molasses cookie recipe, though.
So, about 10 years ago, I conducted a 6 month long series of trials, attempting to re-create her recipe. My mentees and colleagues at Culver ate lots of bad cookies in the process! What I came up with is not the same as Aunt Lola’s. But they’re really darn good.
I then lost the recipe when we moved to the farm, and I’ve been missing my molasses cookies. I found the recipe this morning, with some water damage and mold on it. So I’m posing it here right away, before it’s lost forever. I’ll make sure to add a spiffy photo later, as I don’t have time to make them now…
Chad's Soft Molasses Cookies
My take on a chewy molasses cookie, a bit more bold in flavor than most. Note that I grind my cloves and cinnamon from whole spices for each use. If your spices aren't fresh, you'll likely end up with a more bland cookie. You may want to use a bit extra if you buy pre-ground...
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter, shortening, and sugar in a stand mixer. Beat in molasses and eggs, until combined.
In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
Gradually stir flour mixture into wet ingredients.
Coat hands with sugar (to prevent sticking), and roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll the balls in sugar, and place on a baking sheet (1 dozen per sheet.
Bake 13 minutes (cook time above assumes baking 2 dozen at a time, with 5 dozen cookies using 2 1/2 oven loads).
Let cookies cool about 2 minutes before attempting to remove from the pan. Cool on racks. They're actually best at room temperature, not warm. Odd, I know...