Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

Once the leaves abandon their trees and crunch underfoot, fall takes a second to slow things down before the hard stop of cold winter. In order to match the pace of the season, I wanted to deliver a bit of spice without the usual fare of pumpkin, apple, or pecan. While this recipe does not require any extra time than a regular cookie batter, I’m relying on one of the slowest ingredients around...molasses.

This recipe is a hand-me-down from my childhood in California, a neighborhood recipe probably acquired from a cookie swap or holiday pot luck. We only ever made these softly spiced cookies during the colder, more rainy months, but their crunchy sugar coat and cake-like texture make them irresistible.

Some people may find that molasses is hard to work with or simply dislike the cleanup that comes along with it. Molasses is a stubborn syrup -- sticky, thick, a pain to pour, and hard to release from the spatula after it’s been teased from the measuring cup. Don’t be intimidated, wrestling with the molasses is going to be the hardest part of this easy, nine-ingredient batter. The warmth I get from the finished product is reward enough for the hassle, and well worth the wait.

Slow things down for yourself this fall and have a cookie, or three.

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

3/4 c. butter (softened)

1/4 c. molasses

1 1/4 c. sugar (reserve 1/4 c. for rolling)

2 eggs (room temp)

2 3/4 c. flour

1 1/2 t. baking soda

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. ginger

1/4 t. cloves

Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together butter, molasses, and 1 cup of sugar. Add eggs until smooth. In another bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture until well combined. The dough will be very moist but should roll easily in your hands without sticking to them.

Place remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in shallow bowl. Roll dough into 1” balls and roll into sugar. Stick sugared dough onto a greased cookie sheet 3” apart or on parchment-lined pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.