Cookies are my weakness. If a cookie and I walked alone into a room, the chances are that only one of us would be leaving that room…and it wouldn’t be the cookie. I’m not even picky about what kind of cookies I prefer to fatten myself up with. I am a sucker for the ever popular chocolate chip, but I will also shoot down my eternal diet with a handful of oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, no-bake cookies, Oreos, Chips Ahoy, those cute little powdered wedding cookies…you get the picture.
I’m a cookieholic.
Therefore, in the attempt to negate having to pour myself into the last pair of jeans that actually fit, I tend to not make many cookies unless it’s Christmas. So, this is the time of year for me to fall off of the wagon and into a cookie baking bender. You know, for gifts for other people.
This cookie season, I have been in total love with molasses. I have found that I am putting the black, sticky syrup in anything that I think I can get away with. I have been glazing hams with it, spreading it on biscuits, and pouring it into cookie batter. Molasses has such an earthy, almost smoky sweetness and I cannot seem to get enough of it.
These molasses cookies are an old recipe from my granny and are the perfect cookie to make from your pantry ingredients. The baking soda and shortening makes them light and airy with a softness that almost melts in your mouth. Make a double batch. These won’t last long.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour, spices and salt into a bowl, set aside. Dissolve the baking soda into the hot water in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the shortening, sugar, molasses and egg until smooth. Alternately mix, by hand, the flour mixture and the cold water into the creamed shortening mixture. Mix in the dissolved baking soda and the nuts (if using). Drop rounded teaspoons of the batter onto 2 greased baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to brown. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for up to a week.