Molasses Spice Cookies

Can you believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow? Holy Hannah, how the time flies! I have to keep telling myself to relax and just take one day at a time(not just about Thanksgiving but everything in general). Which is great advice except when you need to prep things ahead of time… if I did all of my Thanksgiving cooking on Thanksgiving, the turkey wouldn’t be as juicy, and I definitely wouldn’t get any pies or rolls made when I still had to make sweet and mashed potatoes and green beans and cranberry sauce and salad and on and on. But I did write on my calendar what I needed to make on specific days in order to stay on top of things. For example, I made our whole-grain rolls last week. We had some for dinner and then I froze about 40 balls of dough which we’ll pull out Thanksgiving morning. Today I’ll be making our pumpkin cheesecake; and I’m not gonna lie, it’s not all real foods…there just might be a Lorna Doone shortbread cookie crust. But I’m okay with that because most everything else is whole/real foods. Tonight we’ll put our thawed out turkey in a brine to soak overnight. So tomorrow, on Thanksgiving, that’ll leave us with the potatoes and veggies and actual cooking of the turkey which doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming. One day I’ll get some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes on here, but it probably won’t be until next year, after I’ve photographed Turkey Day at our house from this year. But, let me share that my husband and I recently watched a Thanksgiving Holiday Special with Chef Brad (he fuses grains with every day foods) and we loved what he did with the turkey, amongst other things. So if you need some last minute ideas and want to watch that today, you can view it on BYUtv here.

That being said, Molasses Spice cookies are one of our favorite treats to eat during the Fall and Winter seasons. I love the smell and flavor! This particular cookie is made with whole white wheat and brown rice flour, though you could do all whole wheat flour and I have done it that way several times…I just like to get a couple of grains in if possible and the brown rice flour lightens the cookie just a little so it’s not as dense as all whole wheat. This cookie is a flatter cookie but it’s so chewy and soft that we love it right out of the oven and days after…if only it would last that long in our house!

You can use a variety of sugars; I personally like Sucanat or Coconut Sugar which I use, many times, in place of brown sugar in dessert recipes because they are an unrefined sugar. I also have evaporated cane juice which is that organic sugar you’re seeing in the picture above (can buy at Costco), but I don’t use it very often because it’s not much better than refined sugar; it’s a little less refined which is why it’s the tan color instead of white.

Alright, let’s get started! Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper so you’re cookies come off easily. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grab a small, shallowish(like my new word?) bowl and put 3 tablespoons of the evaporated cane juice sugar inside. This is what you’ll use to roll your cookies in. Set it aside and grab a medium sized mixing bowl; add your flours, soda and salt to this bowl, give it a quick stir and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt your butter and add your spices until it has a nice smell, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer this to a large mixing bowl and let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool off a bit. Whisk in your remaining three tablespoons of sugar, coconut sugar, molasses, egg yolk and vanilla. Make sure to put the egg yolk in after you’ve stirred in the sugars you don’t cook the egg.

Stir in your flour mixture until combined. If you have a cookie dough scoop, use that, otherwise dish out a heaping tablespoon at a time, roll it into a ball with your hands, roll it in the sugar you’ve set aside in a bowl, and then place it on your parchment covered cookie sheet about 2 and 1/2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft, puffy and underdone, about 9 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. You can store these in a cookie jar or an airtight container for several days. They’ll stay nice a chewy!

Molasses Spice Cookies – by Elisa Smith

6 Tbsp evaporated cane juice, divided (or other granulated sugar)

3/4 c whole white wheat flour

1/3 c brown rice flour (can use white flour or all whole wheat flour)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp pepper

1/4 c light or dark molasses

3 Tbsp coconut sugar(or other granulated sugar)

1 large egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread 3 Tbsp sugar in a shallow dish for rolling; set aside. Whisk the flours, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and pepper and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the butter mixture to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk the remaining 3 Tbsp sugar, molasses, coconut sugar, egg yolk and vanilla in to the melted butter until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Working with 1 heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls with wet hands, then roll in the sugar to coat. Lay the balls on the prepared baking sheet, spaced about 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft, puffy and underdone, 9 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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