When I was 8 or 9 years old, my Grandmother asked me what I wanted for my upcoming Birthday. I surprised her by asking for a whole batch of Molasses Crinkles, just for me.
You see, we lived next door to my Mom’s folks back then, and Grandma had an inordinate fondness for a particular cookie, called Sour Cream Softies. They are similar to Snickerdoodles, but with less backbone, and by then, I was heartily sick of them. I wouldn’t mind one right now though, or standing and watching Grandma whip up a batch of them on her scratched yellow kitchen table.
On the other hand, I loved Molasses Crinkles, another cookie she was also very fond of. She would let us help her make them, though only after scrubbing us to within an inch of our lives because we were always grubby in her opinion. Probably actually were grubby, truth be told – we spilled out the backdoor of our house after breakfast, and didn’t seek civilization again until we got hungry. And Grandma was always a softer touch than Mom when it came to snacks.
So, after a good wash, we were allowed to roll this dough into balls [“not so big, hon!”], dip the tops into granulated sugar and drip on the water that makes them crinkly. Then the long wait while they baked and cooled. A lifetime!
Once you bake up a batch of these, you will understand my affection for them – which is really something for an avowed chocolate addict such as myself. They are both crispy and chewy, and the deep flavors of molasses and spices is just incredible. Time to get going!
- 12 tablespoons [1 & ½ stick] butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup molasses
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 & ⅓ cups all purpose flour
- granulated sugar and cold water for topping
- Cream together the butter and brown sugar, until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and then the molasses.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a smaller bowl, and then beat them into the butter mixture - it will make a fairly stiff dough.
- Form the dough into a flattened disk on a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap tightly.
- Chill for a couple hours, or up to a week. 24 hours is good if you want to really let the flavors bloom.
- Preheat the oven to 375º, and line heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Form the dough into 1 inch balls, and dip the tops into a small bowl of granulated sugar, and place on the prepared sheets, leaving a couple inches of space around each one.
- Drip a couple drops of cold water on the top of each cookie.
- Bake for 12 minutes, until they are set and slightly browned around the edges. Don't bake too long, or they will be crunchy rather than chewy.
- Cool on a rack, and then store tightly covered. They will store at room temperature for at least a week.
I may have to bake another batch right now!