I really do enjoy baking Christmas cookies. Each holiday season, I love to peruse cookbooks and Pinterest to find inspiration for new cookie ideas. When I was growing up, my mom and I used to bake several batches of cookies each Christmas. One of my favorites were called ting-a-lings, which are basically chow mein noodles mixed with melted chocolate and dried in little clumps—trust me, they’re delicious! There’s always a reason to bake cookies around the holiday season—work Christmas parties, cookie swaps, the list could be endless!
I’m a fan of cookies that come together quickly and only use one bowl. These molasses sugar cookies fit the bill just perfectly. They are a wonderfully chewy spice cookie that have hints of ginger and clove. Molasses performs the same nifty trick that brown sugar will in baked goods, adding a firm chewiness to these cookies. The cookies are nearly crisp at the edges and though they are exceptionally chewy, they aren’t soft.
Molasses Sugar Cookies
Makes approximately 72 cookies
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool. Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight.
Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.
Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!
Heather’s Helpful Hints
I’m quite firm about using real butter for all my baking recipes, but molasses cookies are the one exception. Using shortening will give this cookie its chewiness so I’d recommend NOT to substitute with butter.