The ruminations of an artist on art & quilts, beading, knitting, drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking are all my passions, I love to explore creating....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Elves in the Kitchen

Not content to stay in the art studio, the holiday elves have now taken over my kitchen! they are "helping" me bake cookies, and cook up some candied orange peels. Ummm...the whole house smells delicious!

I have learned over the years that the very best cookie recipes are those handed down from generation to generation through families. When I taste someones cookies--and they are yummy, yummy---and they tell me it is an old family recipe--I always ask for the recipe. Tried and true---old family cookie recipes. Here is an old family recipe of mine from my Grandma: CHEWY MOLASSES COOKIES. My Grandma got this recipe from her Mother and so on down the it is a simple recipe, with simple ingredients.

Now these are not just run-of-the-mill molasses cookies--these are really nice and soft and chewy and tasty! and they have no fat--yes--you read that correctly--zilch fat of any kind!--yet they are so good...this recipe makes a big batch, but watch them disappear.


Preheat oven to 300 degrees

1 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon salt
about 3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

In a saucepan heat the molasses and sugar, but do not boil. (Note : heat this enough to dissolve the sugar, though) Cool until just warm. Mix the soda, ginger and salt with 1/2 cup flour and add to the beaten eggs. Add this mixture to the warm molasses mixture---this will foam up some. Then add enough flour to make a soft dough--about 3 cups. (Note: This is the tricky part--if you add too much flour the cookies will be crisp instead of chewy---they will still taste good ---but will not be that nice chewy cookie we are looking for.) Roll out the dough--but not to thin, about 1/4" thick---and bake. Use as little flour a possible in rolling--the dough will be very soft and the board for rolling the cookies out must be well floured. (Note: also flour the rolling pin) Cut into triangles or circles, place on a well greased cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool a few minutes on the pan before removing.

If you hate rolling out cookies--you may roll the dough into 1 inch balls with your hands, and place on a cookie sheet, then flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake the same.

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