Monday, October 11, 2010

Uncle Will's Molasses Cookies

 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
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon allspice
1 Tablespoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon salt
1 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.
When you're ready to bake:
  • 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.)
Alternately: Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough onto parchment covered baking sheet. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake as directed above.

*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.


  1. I bet these made your house smell amazing. I could totally go for one as a before bedtime snack :)

  2. These are a must try, thanks so much.

  3. This does look like it belongs in an old-fashioned cookie jar. I love using recipes that have so much history too! This would be perfect with a big glass of cold milk. A great snack to come home to after a very long day. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Molasses and/or spice and/or gingerbread are my favorite types of cookies...these sound and look fabulous! Beyond fabulous! So glad you shared with the hearth and soul hop this week :D

  5. I love molasses cookies! With a glass of milk, it's the paradise :) Yours looks perfect!
    I take this opportunity to tell you that I have to change my computer and, I'll not come on your blog for several weeks ...I 'll not comment your future recipes before I buy a new computer... But, when I'll have my new computer, I will see you for sure :)

  6. These do look delicious! I love molasses cookies this time if year. I bet your kitchen smelled unbelievably good, too! =)

  7. These are the kind of old fashioned cookie that I love. I've bookmarked your recipe and hope to try it soon!

  8. Beautiful cookies with simple ingredients. We tend to forget that old-fashioned cookies like that are always a welcome treat that keeps well and makes the day just a bit sweeter. :o) Great post!

  9. i have a recipe very similar to this except that the cookies are rolled in sugar and then flattened. excellent, seasonal cookies indeed!

  10. You can't believe how thankful I am that you shared this recipe with the Hearth and Soul hop because I was telling someone about that recipe last week, and couldn't remember where I saw it! How wonderful. I'd love to try making these with lard, as I render my own :)

  11. Like you, I'm always up for a new molasses cookie recipe. I'm still trying to find my ultimate molasses cookie that has that nice spicy kick to them. However, after looking over your recipe, it looks like I may have found such a cookie. I'll have to try this one. I'm also linked up with the Hearth and Soul hop (homemade applesauce).

  12. Oh these cookies sound amazing! I love making cookies in the fall! thanks for sharing this with us at the hearth and soul hop@

  13. I love a good molasses cookie. Your cookies look perfect!

  14. That's interesting about the raisins. I have a raisin cake recipe from my Mom and it says to soak the raisins too (old recipe). There's nothing like a few molasses cookies with a nice tall glass of milk. Yum!!

  15. Molasses cookies are definitely one of my favorites! I would love one right now to go with my cup of tea!

  16. Molasses cookies remind me of my childhood and coming home from school to find them warm and ready. I need to make a batch of these!

  17. I love molasses cookies in autumn but I've never done them with raisins. Why not? Sounds good to me.


  18. Yummm - I'm actually feeling a bit peckish right now - could you spare a couple of those?
    Sue :-)

  19. mmmmmmmmmolasse cookies...I need a dozen! They look really good to me.

  20. I love the raisin puree addition! Molasses cookies are always a favorite around here, and something that I always want to bake when fall comes.

    I wonder if I could substitute pureed dates since I don't think I have raisins on hand?

  21. These would be so lovely with a cup of tea! I can taste them already! :D And I love how molasses is good for you :)

  22. Yes, the story about Uncle Will's Molasses Cookies is very interesting! It makes it extra special knowing about the person behind this when you bake this cookies. This is definitely one cookie that I will try out one day! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  23. Oh it's got raisins too!
    I love old recipes like this (especially Michigan ones); they're always the best. It's why I've always bought every old church recipe book around.

  24. Hi Henny penny, welcome to the hearth and soul hop! I am always happy when new blogs link up because then I get to check out some new diggs! I am now following your blog and grabbed your rss feed. As a kid, all my brother's and sisters wanted chocolate chip, and I was the one who threw a wrench in the works BEGGING for molasses cookies! Occasionally I got my wish! These look delicious and I love that the recipe has survived being passed down generations! Thats a lot of lovely memories to a lot of lovely people! Thanks again for posting on the hearth and soul hop! Alex@amoderatelife

  25. You made them so beautifully! Scooping seemed to work well by looking at them. I always have to decide after the dough is put together what to do. It's a bit annoying, but this is a very old recipe and so I try to give it some grace.

    Thank-you for making and posting these! Sometimes, as we all do, I feel my recipes get lost in the back post graveyard of doom lol!


  26. These cookies look yummy. Loves the raisin too and nicely embedded inside the cookies.

  27. I love the smell of molasses and spice. I love the cookies too. The classics just never get old. Cup of coffee please!

  28. I love molasses cookies and your ultimate recipe sounds great. Nice photo.

  29. Molasses cookies are my favorite. Yours sound delicious. I can almost smell them. Great tip about the raisins too:)


Thanks for stopping by scrambled hen fruit! I appreciate all of your comments and look forward to reading them.

Related Posts with Thumbnails