Making Authentic Molasses Cookies
By Charlie Burke
Molasses has been a popular ingredient in New England cooking since at least the
nineteenth century. Clipper ships brought cane sugar to New England from
Caribbean islands, and rum and molasses were manufactured here. A bizarre
disaster occurred long ago in Boston's North End when a huge molasses storage
tank ruptured resulting in many deaths.
My wife was given this recipe and told it was quite old; the results are
anything but a disaster! Wafer thin and crisp, these are like no other molasses
cookie we've ever had. The dough stores well in the refrigerator and can be
sliced and cooked in minutes. The best molasses we've ever had is sold at The
Old Country Store at Moultonborough Corner in Moultonborough, New Hampshire
which boasts of being a country store since 1781.
1 cup molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup hot water
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Heat the molasses to a boil.
Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until melted. Place the sugar in a
deep bowl and add soda to the hot water; pour water into the molasses. Pour the
molasses mixture into the bowl of sugar and thoroughly mix. Add spices, flour
and salt and mix with molasses and sugar. Pour into a loaf pan lined with
parchment paper or waxed paper and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 325. Cut dough as thin as possible and bake on a non stick
surface or a greased sheet for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack as soon as done. They
will be great for the holidays, and we're betting they'll be a family favorite.
An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the vice president of
the New Hampshire Farmer's Market Association (www.nhfma.org)
and helps run the Sanbornton Farmers' Market. His column & recipes appear weekly
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