The holiday countdown is on. My Mom and Kate arrive Thursday afternoon and I still have to finish the grocery shopping (95% finished), finish wrapping presents (98% finished), get the guest rooms in order (held up by husband’s home improvement projects) and get all the cookie doughs ready for baking on Thursday night. That last one I started on yesterday.
I’ve picked four cookies for the holidays. Kate’s favorite – Chocolate Comfort Cookies from Diane Mott Davidson’s book “The Grilling Season” – is on the list. My husband’s Christmas standard, sugar cookies. A new Chocolate-Hazelnut Thumbprint recipe from Cooking Light. And last, but definitely not least, an all around favorite (and my personal favorite), my Mom’s molasses cookies.
Mom’s molasses cookies are a great offset to chocolate and sugar cookies, are fast, easy, and just downright good (I sometimes get caught eating them for breakfast).
Mom’s Molasses Cookies
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter (softened – do not melt)
1/4 c. molasses (I use dark, but you can use light if you prefer)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine sugar and butter in a medium bowl and mix on low-speed until blended (creamed). Mix in egg and molasses to sugar mixture until blended. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until blended.
Drop by the spoonful (or use a cookie dough scoop) on a nonstick baking sheet (I prefer Williams Sonoma’s nonstick goldtouch cookie sheets – they’re a little pricy, but I’ve had mine for three years and they work perfectly, no sticking, no mess and just a wipe down to clean). I put 6-9 cookies per sheet.
My sis Kate disagrees with this drop cookie method, she says the cookies should be shaped into balls, rolled in sugar and then baked. I think they’re great either way.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Makes about 24 cookies, depending on size.
Let the baking begin!