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Grandma Emma’s Molasses Cookies

February 1, 2011

According to all the weather stations, we’re currently experiencing Snowmaggeddon. Or the Snowpocalypse. Or, as we like to say, a typical Iowa winter.

The kiddo had a snow day from school, so I decided to do what I always do when I’m stuck in the house: bake.

I was a little tired of making cookies with chocolate in them. Okay, who am I kidding, I’ll never be tired of baking cookies with chocolate in them, but variety is the spice of life and all that, so I decided to try out Grandma Emma’s Molasses Cookies.

I’d found the recipe when I was going through the stack of recipe cards my Aunt left me.

It looks like this:

It’s a pretty bare bones recipe. I had to consult the All-Knowing Google to figure out what temperature a “quick oven” is. (It’s 400 degrees, btw). And no specific flour amount? Uh, okay.

But I tried my hand, anyway. The cast of characters is blessedly small.

Flour, sugar, eggs, butter, molasses, sour cream, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Because there weren’t any specific directions on the recipe, I used the ingredients in the order I would any other cookie recipe: wet then dry.

And I apologize in advance for my photos. As I learned today, it is definitely not easy to take manual focus photos (auto focus on my lens is not working) of a mixer in action when the lighting is poor and you don’t have a tripod. Though they’re a little blurry, I do think the action shots do look kinda cool. But maybe it’s just me…

Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl

and add to the butter and sugar, mixing well. Add the molasses

and the sour cream (try not to get any in your hair as you’re whacking the measuring cup against the mixer bowl).

Then add the ginger, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

Because there was no specific amount of flour listed, I added it, one-half cup at a time, to the mixture, beating after each addition. The recipe calls for “enough for a soft dough” and I ended up putting in about three and a half cups. I could have even gone up to four had I wanted a little thicker cookie, but what I used worked fine.

After adding the flour (and I was losing my light, so I had to resort to the flash).

Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper (or silicone mats)

and bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. Time to bake wasn’t specified, either, so I started at 10 and worked back from there. I used very generous spoonfuls with the first sheet, and 10 minutes worked okay for them, but as I went along, I discovered 8 to 9 minutes worked better, erring on the side of shorter time.

They were pretty much just like Grandma’s, maybe a tad crispier.


Even the kiddos enjoyed them (though I did have to bribe the kiddo with a cookie in order for me to take his picture. And darn that awful yellowish light from the dining room.).

These are deeelicious!

I don’t know where he came up with that phrase, but the kidlet has picked it up, too, and it cracks me up everytime I hear it coming from her little pipsqueak voice.

The recipe makes a large batch – 6-7 dozen cookies depending on size. I packed up a bag to give to my dad, put two in the freezer and have one out for us to eat. I’m positive they’ll be gone by tomorrow.

But that’s okay, it’s looking like the kiddo will have yet another snow day, so I’m sure I’ll be baking again.

Grandma Emma’s Molasses Cookies
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
3 well-beaten eggs
1 c. molasses (I used mild, dark would also work nicely)
2/3 c. sour cream
1 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Flour to make soft dough (3 1/2 to 4 cups). Bake in quick oven (400 degrees for 8-10 minutes).

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