Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies
Biting into these molasses cookies bring back memories of my Grandma Betty, who sadly passed away over a decade ago. First of all, she was a stay at home Mom of FIVE kids…yowzers (three of them boys!). Secondly, she chainsmoked Dorel cigarettes. Most memorably though, she was a truly gifted baker. Some of her specialties include a layered German chocolate cake…melt on your tongue fudge…and these super chewy, super molassesy (I know that’s not a word, but darnit, they are molassesy) cookies.
Molasses is kind of a hard ingredient to describe, but it deserves a place in your pantry!!!
How about them Cowboys?
Grandma Betty was a huge Cowboys fan and watched all of their football games on her mini TV. If there was a Cowboy game on, she’d be planted in her chair, cigarette burning away lazily in an ashtray close by. She was soft spoken, quite petite, and called all her grandkids sugar (in a slight Southern drawl).
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with Grandma Betty before she passed away. I do have a lot of good memories of the visits going up to see her though.
She lived in a single wide trailer on the East side that was consistently filled with cigarette smoke. She hand sewed the most gorgeous patchwork quilts ever. Those quilts have warmed me up countless times as a child, snuggled up with a book or watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit for the thousandth time with my sister on our couch.
I also remember she had the most beautiful hands. Her fingers were very slender and long and her fingernails were always polished in red or pink.
Most of all, I remember she would sit in her recliner, watching the Cowboys play, as she filed those nails into classic, rounded tips. With cigarette burning, she would curse quietly at the screen whenever they played bad. Never any bad curses, just funny ones.
Her kitchen was very small, but the baked goods that came out of it burst with big flavor…and not to sound too cliched, lots of love. Whenever she baked these molasses cookies, she would place each cookie into it’s own special little bag before putting them in a ziploc. I’m not sure if that makes the cookies last any longer, but it can’t hurt right? Double bag it, lol. There’s nothing worse than a stale cookie.
These cookies deserve to be savored slowly with a
big glass of iced milk or a hot cup of good, black coffee.
I only made one change to her recipe, substituting the crisco she uses in her original version with melted butter instead. This is really a personal preference for me, feel free to make it either way. I really couldn’t notice any change in the taste or the texture, so I know both work amazingly well, plus, I always have unsalted butter in my fridge.
You don’t see a whole lot of molasses cookies around these days, which is a shame. Molasses is kind of a loud ingredient, but butter (or crisco), lots of crumbly, brown sugar, and a spicy mix of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger really work well together…the result is off the charts. After the dough is chilled for 20 minutes, you roll balls of dough around in sugar before baking. The end result is a crispy edge on the outside and an insanely chewy center on the inside!!
Cookie monster would definitely give this cookie, two puppet thumbs way up!!
Nostalgia is a helluva drug (spoken in the voice of Rick James)..lol. Biting into this cookie brought my childhood back like a slap in the face. Sitting cross legged in my Grandma’s living room, watching with envy as all the adults played hand after hand of dominoes at the kitchen table. I remember running around the trailer park with my favorite cousin Sarah, tearing through the rocked yards of the community. Seated on the green, carpeted turf of Grandma’s front porch, my cousins and I spent hours laughing, playing cards, and pretend smoking like the adults. I will forever remember these good times!
Cherish your family folks!
Cherish your family memories! I can only hope my son has the kind of childhood that Heidi and I had. As I get older, this feeling grows stronger and stronger with each passing day. Boy do those days seem to fly by too!! What the heck?
Finally, rather than taking your family for granted, enjoy them and all their crazy quirks. Learn to appreciate them for who they are, love them, and support them!!! Make some cookies with your own kids. Believe me, they will remember it for the rest of their lives.
Get your bake on!!! Here’s to you Grandma!!!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 cups sifted flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- Preheat oven to 350. Place baking trays in middle and lower shelves.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Melt butter in microwave until melted, about 1 minute.
- Add melted butter and brown sugar to mixer and cream together until color lightens, about 3 minutes on medium high.
- Add egg and molasses to mixer and mix to combine.
- Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt together. Add gradually to mixer in parts, and mix to combine.
- Add lemon and vanilla extract to mixer and mix to combine.
- Cover mixer bowl with plastic wrap and chill in fridge 20 minutes.
- Remove dough, scoop 1/4 cups out and form into a ball, roll each ball in sugar.
- Place dough balls a couple inches apart from each other on the tray and bake 15-18 minutes, switching the top and middle tray halfway through baking time.
- Cool for a couple minutes on the tray.
- Remove cookies from tray and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Ice that milk up and enjoy!
- **Prep time includes 20 minute chill in fridge before baking.