Spice Cookies

Happy Saturday!  We seem to have gotten through Friday the 13th, although the cats did seem a bit weird (although maybe that was the catnip…).

Today I’m posting the recipe for the most popular cookies I’ve ever made.  Don’t be put off by the length you’ll see — I try to put tips, tricks, and hints in my recipes to make them clearer and explain a bit of what I do.  I’m churning these out now for the church’s Fall Fair next weekend.  I’ll be bringing the apple chutney, these spice cookies, and chicken liver pate (recipe to follow in a few days).  There’s a member of our choir who is absolutely mad for these things — every time we have a fair or any other kind of celebration at church I have to be prepared to have some extra for David, or he pouts!  I hope you enjoy these as much as I have for the past 60 years or so.

Spice Cookies

The recipe is from Audrey Bishop, who worked with Marion Paquin’s mother in the early 1950s in NYC.  Please feel free to share it — the world is a better place with more spice cookies in it!

¾ cup butter (Use butter, and not margarine or shortening.  They won’t give the same results.)

1 cup sugar

1 egg

¼ cup dark molasses (I use Grandma’s Original, with the yellow label)

2 tsp baking soda  (do NOT add to dry ingredients)

2 cups flour

¼ tsp salt

heaping tsp cinnamon

¾ tsp cloves

¾ tsp ginger

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and mix.  Mix soda and molasses (this will foam up a bit, if it doesn’t your soda isn’t fresh and the recipe won’t work) and add to the butter mixture.  Stir in dry ingredients and blend.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.  (I always chill it overnight.)

Keeping the dough cold, pick off small pieces (about the size of a hazelnut for smaller cookies, and up to a walnut for larger) and roll in the palms of your hands, forming balls (or you can use a small scoop).  I put the dough back into the fridge after each pan or two.  Roll the balls in granulated sugar.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 325° – 350° F oven.  Cookies will look darker, crackled, and flattened when done.

With my oven and a “medium size” cookie it takes about 10 or 12 minutes, but flattened, crackled and darker is what to look for.  Remove cookies from pan onto paper towels or a cooling rack.  I’ve discovered those silicone baking mats and the cookies bake perfectly on them.

I use non-latex (some folks are allergic) examining gloves when I roll the dough into balls because it doesn’t stick to the gloves too much and it WILL stick to the palms of your hands.  Or you can use a small scoop, which also works well.  I used to use regular granulated sugar to roll them in because that’s what I have in the house, but “sparkling” sugar (larger granules, sometimes sold colored or as “coffee sugar”) works very well, and gives a bit of a “sparkly, holiday” look to the cookies.  Don’t bother with colored sugar, though, because the cookies are dark enough it won’t really show.

I get my sparkling sugar from Amazon, at 6½ pounds a shot.  Most people don’t need that much!  However, if you do a search for “sparkling sugar” at Amazon there are many options for smaller sizes if you can’t find it in the grocery store.  As a last note, make sure your soda and spices are fresh — I started one batch with some old cinnamon and had to toss it, since the “spice” taste just wasn’t there.

Enjoy!    From Marion

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3 Responses to “Spice Cookies”

  1. Ed Tracey Says:

    If you won’t talk to your cats about catnip ….. who will ?!?

  2. Jay B. Says:

    After today’s events, I’m optimistic that many of Krugman’s columns and blog posts won’t be to depressing to read.

  3. Ed Tracey Says:

    Marion, how are you doing? Missed your offerings, for sure.

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