I used to hide cookies under my bed.
Big, beautiful, sweet and soft molasses cookies. Bought from the Amish bakery 45 minutes from my house. They were the size of teacup saucers, coated in chunky sanding sugar. And the smell! Oh my goodness, the smell!
I used to be able to lie down at night and smell them from their hiding place, all wrapped up and closed with a little green twist tie. Eyes closed with my head on the pillow, I could practically taste them. Sweet dreams, indeed.
Now, don’t go getting the wrong idea. I didn’t have to hide the cookies. Sweets weren’t off limits growing up. In fact, we routinely had a full candy drawer, box of cookies, and a pan of cinnamon rolls or Scotcheroos on the counter. Not to mention a box of those ridiculous Cosmic Brownies stashed up in the cupboard, should the need arise.
I hid those cookies because I.refused.to.share. They were that good! And I was that greedy. On a trip to the bakery in Amish country (that only happened about once a month or so) I’d buy my family decoy treats just so they wouldn’t notice the package of molasses cookies missing. They’d get an apple pie or pecan sticky bun or a doughnut the size of their head. And I’d get all the cookies.
Sadly, I can’t get those cookies anymore. I’m much further than 45 minutes from the bakery. Thank goodness I figured out how to make my own! Or, rather, as close as I’m ever gonna get without an industrial sized mixer and tub of lard. Dare to dream, people.
Chewy Molasses Cookies
(makes 2 dozen cookies)
2 cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup molasses
Whisk together flour, sad, salt, and spices. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary. Add the egg and yolk, mix well. Stir in the vanilla and the molasses.
In three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing to combine.
Chill dough for at least one hour, or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a medium cookie scoop, portion out dough. Roll in multi-colored sanding sugar or regular granulated sugar.
Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes.
Remove and let cool on rack.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a few days or frozen for a week or two. They actually taste better the next day!