Thursday, October 9, 2008

Whole Wheat Molasses Cookies

I may have mentioned before that as sweets go, I'm not the biggest fan. I didn't enjoy sweets when I was a child at all, and as I've grown older I've started eating more, but I still don't get the kick out of it most people seem to. I don't crave candy bars, I couldn't care less about ice cream, chocolate is pretty blah and as much as I loooove cupcakes, one or two will tide me over for a couple months. Dessert is my least favorite course and if I'm in a nice restaurant I'll usually opt for an espresso con panna and the cheese plate. And don't even get me started on doughnuts. Blech. People that eat doughnuts for breakfast make me want to yarf. How can you stuff that much sugar and fat into your maw that early in the morning? Yeesh. Unless it's a piping hot Krispy Kreme original glazed, then I can usually eat a whole one - but it has to be at least the afternoon. Sweet foods don't belong in the morning hours.

When I do crave baked goods it's usually in the spice capacity. I love gingerbread cookies, spice cake, pumpkin and apple pie - get the theme here folks? Basically I love cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. In pretty much everything. I can eat an entire batch of gingerbread cookies, as long as they don't have a ton of sugar and aren't iced and apple pie makes me weak in the knees, but again it can't have too much sugar in the filling. So, when I came across a recipe for molasses cookies that included all my favorite spices - game on!

Now, to me, molasses tastes kind of funny. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, there's not a whole lot of molasses action going on up there. You want fish for breakfast there's about a million options, but molasses? Heck no. I'd never even seen molasses until visiting the South for the first time. My sMiL likes to dip toast into molasses and just eat it plain. I don't think I could handle that, it's too strong for me, but in these cookies it's just perfect. I altered the recipe quite a bit to suit my tastes, and these cookies turned out perfectly. I couldn't be more pleased.

Now I just have to not eat all of them before morning...

Molasses Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup molasses
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 375 F
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or SilPat

In a medium mixing bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, molasses, 1/3 cup white sugar and spices. Sift the flour and baking soda into the mixing bowl. Beat until combined, scraping the edges of the bowl if needed. The dough will be soft and sticky. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in sugar. If you use a teaspoon to portion, and then barely roll between your palms, drop them right into the sugar mixture and toss, it's much easier to handle them once coated in sugar. Press down slightly onto the baking sheet, repeat. Bake only one tray at a time. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes or until edges are set. They will appear undercooked, but they're not! Pull out of the oven, and let rest for 5 minutes - place on cooling rack to cool to room temperature.


Kristin said...

You would love the MiL's apple pie--she never makes it too sweet. And she uses lard in the crust. But if you do end up with apple pie that's just a bit too sweet, it's greatly improved my melting some sharp cheddar cheese over the top. YUM.

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

I'm more a savory person as well. Because, you know, sometimes sweets are... well, too sweet! ;)

Jude said...

I don't understand having sugar and fat for breakfast as well. You'll be even hungrier by 9:45.
I'm with you on the spices, though.

TL said...

Yum! I just made these, but I made a few changes due to a lack of butter in my fridge, and I didn't have any allspice. I used half butter and half oil (sunflower, but any would probably be fine), no allspice, and for the baking soda I do what I always do: I dissolved it in a small amount of hot water, making sure it was all dissolved and then I throw it in the mix. The water cooks out so it doesn't make any difference. Also, I used organic raw sugar instead of white sugar. The only difference I would make next time is next time I will put in less sugar, probably less brown sugar. For being a cookie "not too sweet," I still thought it was a bit sweet. All said, everyone loved them and they get better as they cool, crunchy and sweet goodness (I think the oil lends to making them crunchier). Thanks for the great recipe!