It must be a special occasion, because Baker Barry has finally agreed to share the secrets of his amazing Molasses cookies. I asked him to way back when we held the auction for Nie, but he was reluctant. He has finally decided to share but asks that if any of you open a bakery and make a fortune selling these cookies, that you kindly send us a cut of your profits.
Before you proceed…I must warn you that there is a reason that Barry doesn’t blog. This is kind of more of a novel than a recipe, but I’m leaving it straight from the horses mouth–except to add in my own commentary in italics (because it isn’t long enough). Now with out further ado…
Barry’s Kick-Butt Spiced Molasses Cookies
(Such a boy name! *sigh*)
by Baker Barry
While this recipe takes bits and pieces of other recipes which can be
found online and in various cookie books, I have not as of yet found a
recipe which is quite the same. So while I guess it would not be
completely ethically correct for me to claim it as my own, my efforts
to tweak the final product have been such that I feel it warranted to
put my name on the recipe. If you happen to claim the same (or
similar) recipe as your own, then our taste buds are likely related
and if you have a variation that you think I should try please let me
know. You will notice that some of my ingredients have a range (e.g.
½ to ¾ tsp. ground cloves). How much I add depends on my mood when I
am baking, and on what my taste buds seem to lean towards. So ask
yourself, what are your taste buds suggesting to you? And yes, I am
sometimes…ok, often silly when it comes to working in the kitchen. So
anyways… (see what I mean about the novel…they are totally worth it, though!)
• ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened (but not melted)
• 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
• 1 to 2 tsp. finely grated fresh orange zest (1 large orange provides
enough – and eat the orange soon after zesting, or it will dry out)
• 1 large egg
• ¼ to 1/3 cup unsulphured molasses (I usually use the “Grandma’s”
brand, “Robust” variety, but whatever…)
• 2 ¼ cups + 2 Tbsp. flour (I prefer unbleached, all-purpose)
• 2 tsp. baking soda (I usually use this ingredient, but I once
serendipitiously discovered that it can be optional, depending on your
intended results – see below *)
• ½ tsp salt (I usually use sea salt)
• 1 to 2 tsp. ground cinnamon (I’m not a cinnamon snob…yet…so ceylon or cassia,
whichever you prefer)
• 2 tsp. ground ginger (someday I plan to experiment with fresh grated
ginger, or even better, with tiny bits of candied ginger…)
• ½ to ¾ tsp. ground cloves
• ¼ to ½ tsp. ground mustard (yes, dry mustard – please don’t grab the
yellow bottle from the fridge!)
• Granulated Turbinado sugar (for rolling your balls of cookie dough
in before putting them in the oven. Regular white granulated sugar
will also work, but my taste testers confirm that Turbinado is best)
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the
orange zest, egg, and molasses, and beat until the mixture is smooth
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon,
ginger, cloves, and mustard. Make sure that the ingredients are mixed
evenly and thoroughly.
(* If you happen to leave out the baking soda, you end up with a
denser, harder cookie. When this occurred the first time, I almost
overreacted and tossed out the batch of dough. I’m glad I didn’t.
The result was wonderfully crunchy on the outside, with a dense, firm
but not too hard, chewy center. I have only tried this with the
smaller cookies – I don’t know how the larger cookies would turn out).
Thoroughly mix the sifted dry ingredients into the
butter/sugar/zest/egg/molasses mixture. The dough should be stiff,
but not too dry (and not too wet either).
Heat the oven to about 375º, and place the rack in the center
position. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease
them lightly with butter. Pour about ½ cup Turbinado sugar into a
Now, how big do you want your cookies, and how many cookies do you
want? This recipe will make either 1 dozen giant cookies, or about 2
½ dozen smaller cookies. For giant cookies, take a scoop of dough and
shape it into a slightly-larger-than-golf ball-sized ball (about 2 ½
inches diameter). Roll each ball in the Turbinado sugar until it is
completely coated, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat with the
remaining dough, resisting the urge to eat the raw dough, as the baked
cookies are considerably better than the dough. For smaller cookies,
make the dough balls about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Note that the
cookies will expand while baking, so don’t crowd them; on one of my
baking sheets, I can fit six of the large dough balls, or a dozen of
the smaller). Using your fingers (or other suitable tool) flatten
each dough ball on the baking sheet slightly, until it is a sort of
thick, round-sided disk (1 to 1.5 inches in thickness).
Bake the cookies for 13-17 minutes, until the tops have cracked and
split (* if you omitted the baking powder, the tops will not crack and
split), and until the cookies are slightly browner than the dough.
You may want to experiment with baking time, because your oven is
different than mine and I also like my cookies more well- done
(crunchy outside, chewy inside) than you might. Allow to cool on the
sheet for a few minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
As strange as it sounds, this type of cookie does indeed improve with
age. Store the cookies in a fairly air-tight container for a day or
so, and then compare the taste/texture with the fresh baked.
(They come out better if you watch them intently the whole time they are baking!)
Thanks, Sweetheart! The world just became a sweeter place because you were willing to share!