MOLASSES COOKIES ~JUST LIKE GRANDMA USED TO MAKE!
I'm in Vermont for the next 10 days visiting family. This isn't just a vacation, it's a working vacation. Just so you don't think I sit on my butt and do nothing all day while I'm on my trip...er...vacation, I'll show you what I did the last time we were here visiting.
I made five Cheesecakes, Muffins, Corn Chowder, a Veggie Casserole, and a great big Tiramisu, plus a ton of dinners. Yeah, I was pretty proud of myself too!
I went to "work" at the bakery with my son. OK, so he worked and I played! He made thousands of the most amazing Molasses Cookies you could ever imagine! Close your eyes. Gently pick up a cookie and feel how soft it is, how the sugar coating feels between your fingertips. By accident, some sugar sprinkles off on your shirt and you brush it away. You put the cookie to your nose, take a deep breath and inhale the spices ~ cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Your thoughts immediately turn to your Grandma's kitchen.I know mine does!
The sweet molasses makes you salivate ~ you can't help it ~ and you're tempted to wolf down the whole cookie in one bite...but you wait. With eyes still closed, you gingerly take your fist bite. Without warning, the flavors explode in your mouth! Brown sugar and buttery goodness with just the right zing of ginger. The texture is exactly what you expected it to be. Soft and moist with a chewy interior, the slightly crunchy outside rolled in sugar. Now, open your eyes and pour a glass of milk. Sit back, a Molasses Cookie in one hand and a glass of milk in the other, and tell me you don't think of your Grandma?
My thoughts wander back to my Grandma's kitchen where this Molasses Cookie originated from. Her name was Doris and she was one of the sweetest Grandma's anyone could ever wish for. She taught me to love the smell of yeast, the feel of the dough in my hands, how to make a flaky pie crust and how to touch a cookie and know if it was done without burning my fingers!
THE SECRET INGREDIENT IS LOVE!
This Molasses Cookie has gone through major transformations since the recipe was passed down to me many years ago. When we started baking commercially, the cookie dough needed to be consistent from one batch to the next. We were making thousands of cookies at a time and the "Betty Crocker" approach clearly was not working for us. The batches were huge and the ingredients had to be weighed instead of measuring 50 cups of flour and 10 Tablespoons of cinnamon! The recipe my son uses today in his bakery is quite different from the original. There is however, one thing that has never changed....love is still the secret ingredient! The intense feeling of pleasure I get when I bite into one of Grandma's Molasses Cookies is the memory that binds this family together.