Monday, November 23, 2009

Molasses Ginger Cookies

molasses ginger cookies

I've been a bit of a jet setting vegan these past few weeks. I was in Montreal last weekend for Expozine, and after that I drove all over creation for work during the week. And then, on Thursday night I left on the not-quite-midnight train to Toronto so I could visit my friends Nicole and Alex and their excellent baby, Jacob. Who, by the way, looks like this:


Well. If that doesn't kick you in the babymaker, I don't know what will.

Where were we? Cookies! Right. Backing up! On my trip to Montreal I brought along some cookies and some date balls for the friends who were hosting me. The weekend before that one I'd traded a batch of these cookies for a big bin of compost for my garden plots, so I knew they would bake up nicely.

This is an old recipe from my university days when I wasn't afraid of Crisco. Now I am unnerved by vegetable shortening, but I forged ahead with the recipe anyway. If someone wants to try these with Earth Balance and get back to me, I'd be curious to hear how they work out. For now, I stuck with the original recipe. And they were fantastic.


Molasses Ginger Cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar (plus 1/4 cup more for tops of cookies)
1 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup blackstrap molasses

Preheat oven to 370 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients.

Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture is crumbly.

Mix in molasses and knead dough until ingredients are well mixed and dough is smooth.

Roll dough into a long cylinder and cut into thin, cookie-sized slices.

Spread 1/4 cup of sugar on a small plate and gently press each cookie's top into the sugar.

Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.

Makes approximately two dozen cookies.

Some Notes:

-These cookies are not, in the slightest, good for you. But, oh, how delicious they are. So we can overlook the shortening issue in the name of Everything In Moderation. Don't eat these cookies every day. Don't eat ten of them while you veg on the couch in front of Battlestar Galactica episodes. Just sayin'.

-This brand of molasses used to bear the slogan "A Good Source of Iron". The problem was, they placed the slogan right below the product name and therefore the box seemed to be proclaiming, "GRANDMA: A Good Source of Iron". This delighted me every time I reached for the box. Now they have done away with the slogan, perhaps because they didn't like the inference that consuming one's Nana was an excellent way to prevent anemia.

-When I gave these to my friend Jesse in Montreal he blurted out, "How do we know these won't suck? You don't eat sugar!" Well, jokes on you, Jesse. I know you loved the cookies and the SUGAR FREE date balls that came with them. Never doubt me again.



Brigid said...

Um, yeah, that baby is excellent. Way too cute.

These sound tasty! My taller half loves ginger, so I will have to give these a go. I have a package of Earth Balance shortening in the fridge, so I'll let you know how they turn out.

J. said...

Brigid: I would totally appreciate the EB report! I had forgotten that they make shortening as well as margarine. That would probably work perfectly.


zoom said...

Oooh, that baby is scrumptious. Nice baby blanket too.

•¦Amy¦• said...

Mmmm those sounds so good! My family has thier annual holiday baking day this sunday so I'll have to try those out!

Hilary said...

OMG, that baby is the cuteness. I love how fat his head is! :)

Brigid said...

OK I couldn't resist. I made them last night with the EB shortening, and they are wonderful. My SO absolutely adored them.

J. said...

Awesome! Thanks for the report. I feel better about making them in the future, Crisco-free!

zoom said...

I've been dreaming about these cookies for days now. I'm going to make them this afternoon!

•¦Amy¦• said...

I made them on Sunday! Amazing. Just wonderful. Unfortunately we ran out of Crisco so I used half Cirsco half Margerine (they were no longer vegan...) but still very yummy! Next time I shall make them the proper way!

Anonymous said...

Try butter instead of shortening next time. Wonderful!