Uncle Will's Molasses Cookies
Who doesn't love the scent of spicy molasses cookies wafting from the kitchen? They are definitely my favorites, especially at this time of year. There's nothing like a molasses cookie warm from the oven to make you feel all happy and content inside! There are several different versions (here and here) that I like to make, but I'm always open for trying a new recipe. I found these cookies on The Cooking Photographer's blog, and the story she wrote about their background was so compelling they went right to the top of my "must make" list!
In a nutshell, these cookies are from a recipe passed down through family members from a 1930's baker (Uncle Will) in the Rosebush, Michigan area. The recipe has been modified slightly to adjust for modern ingredients, but otherwise is pretty close to the original. I loved this cookie for not only its warm subtle spices, but for its soft, chewy texture. It's a perfect, old fashioned "cookie jar" cookie that tempts you to reach in for one every time you pass by. Thankfully, some things never go out of style!
Uncle Will's Molasses Cookies
Recipe slightly adapted from The Cooking Photographer
1 lb. seedless raisins (about 3 cups) * (see note)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), softened (original recipe called for lard)
1/2 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon allspice
1 Tablespoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon salt1 Tablespoon baking soda
6 cups all purpose flour
- Finely chop, puree or grind raisins to a paste.* Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar.
- Add raisin puree and molasses. Mix well.
- Add eggs, mixing after each addition.
- Stir in cinnamon, allspice, cloves, salt and baking soda. Mix well.
- Add half of flour. Mix well
- Add rest of flour. Mix just until everything is combined.
- Divide the dough into 4 or 5 portions. Flatten each and refrigerate at least a couple of hours, but preferably overnight for flavors to develop.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Generously flour the surface you are using.
- Roll one portion of dough out to about 1/4 inch. (The dough tends to be sticky, so make sure you flour your surface, the surface of the dough, and your rolling pin.)
- Cut with round cookie cutter, place rounds about an inch apart on parchment covered baking sheets, and bake for about 12 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes; remove to rack to cool completely.
- This recipe makes LOTS. Once baked, the cookies freeze well in an airtight bag. You can also place the well-wrapped portions of unbaked dough in your freezer. ( Let these sit out and thaw a bit before rolling out.)
*The original recipe instructs you to soak your raisins in boiling water before pureeing them. My mom told me that when she was a girl back in the 30's, raisins were much harder (drier) and seedier than they are now, and soaking was necessary when using them in recipes such as this one. Since my raisins were fairly fresh, I skipped the soak that was called for in the original recipe.
This post has been added to the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop.