Thursday, September 13, 2012

Iced Molasses Cookies

School has started and I see the little ones walking toward the neighborhood school on my way to work. It reminds me of those long ago Fall days when my brothers and sisters and I would trek to our elementary school, lunch boxes in hand.  Now kids seem to carry everything they need in backpacks nearly as big as they are.  How much does an elementary student need anyway?

Back to my point.  In our sack lunches besides a sandwich and a milk ticket, would be two or three cookies and an apple.  Nothing fancy but certainly an adequate lunch to see us until dinner.  One of my favorite store bought cookies, though not one we got in our lunches, was Grandmas Iced Molasses cookies.  I loved the spicy soft cookie with the thin vanilla glaze on top. I'm not sure if they are even made anymore, but I looked up this recipe and they are so very reminiscent of those store bought cookies.  One helpful hint. Do not overbake or they will not have that soft center and will be more like a gingersnap.

These are the perfect cookie for Fall with their warm spices to get us ready for the cool days ahead. Enjoy!

Iced Molasses Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling cookies
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsulphered molasses

Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice together in a bowl and set aside.
Use an electric mixer and beat the butter for 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed. Add egg, vanilla extract, and molasses. Beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.

Place remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Working with 2 Tbsp of dough each time, roll dough into 1 3/4 inch balls. Roll balls in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
Bake until the outer edges of the cookies begin to set and centers are soft and puffy, about 11 to 13 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.
Optional Glaze
When cookies have cooled, lay out over a sheet of wax paper. Sift 1 1/4 cups of confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar) and then whisk with 2 Tbsp of milk until smooth. Dip spoon into glaze and dribble over cookies.
Yield: Makes 18 large cookies.

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