Thursday, January 23, 2014

Soft Raisin Molasses Cookies

There's a moment of hesitation, when there's only one or two cookies left, and you have to make the decision to eat them or save them for later.

On the one hand, you think with relief, the cookies are almost gone.  But on the other hand, you think with sadness, the cookies are almost gone.

My mom used to make cookies similar to these called Raisin Molasses Gems, and I remember that they were my dad's absolute favorite cookie.  He'd eat them until his stomach was aching... and then he'd still eat a few more.

I didn't do much baking last weekend, being sick and all, but I did bake cookies Saturday morning, because when I have a cold, sweets are incredibly satisfying, and I wanted the comfort of soft, homemade cookies.

Soft molasses cookies are the epitome of comfort, in my opinion, since there's something incredibly old-fashioned about them with the dark spicy aroma of the molasses, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.  Every sugar coated mouthful is like Christmas at Grandma's house.

When they emerge from the oven, hot and puffed, the edges are slightly crisp and the centers gooey, but after cooling, they get so soft.  These are cookies that I think are even better a day or two after baking than fresh from the oven.

After Jamie finished the last cookie, I was a little sad...  until I remembered that I hadn't baked all the dough yet, and there was a little left in the fridge to bake a few more...

One Year Ago:   Banana Caramel Cream Pie for Two
Two Years AgoLime and Mint Mascarpone Ice Cream and Almond Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Soft Raisin Molasses Cookies

·         ½ cup raisins
·         ½ cup water
·         1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
·         ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         ¼ cup molasses
·         1 egg
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 ¾ teaspoons baking soda
·         1 teaspoon cinnamon
·         1 teaspoon ginger
·         ½ teaspoon cloves
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         3 tablespoons granulated or coarse sparkling sugar

Combine the raisins and water in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer, and remove from the heat; let the raisins soak in the water for 10 minutes then drain and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar and butter for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Beat in the molasses, egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture by spoonfuls, just until moistened.  Stir in the raisins.  The dough will be thick.

Cover and chill the dough for 2-3 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Roll the chilled dough into rounded tablespoonsfuls, coat in the granulated sugar and place two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.  Bake for 8 minutes, until slightly puffed and slightly cracked, then cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

Yields about 3 dozen cookies

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen