Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

Molasses Crinkles


I grew up thinking sugar cookies were the poor man’s version of molasses cookies.  Both sparkle with baked-in sugar, but sugar cookies pale, literally, in comparison to the gingery brown sugar and molasses bite of my grandmother’s holiday cookie.

When my grandmother passed away thirteen years ago, we discovered that she had not one but upwards of 8 different recipes for our favorite cookies in her recipe box, all titled “molasses cookie”.

True, they had been puffy and soft at times and crisp and chewy at others, but they had always been fantastically spicy and warm so it never occurred to us that there wasn’t one definitive recipe.

I had copied down one version last time I was home and discovered that it was missing the teaspoon amount for ground ginger.  Comparing it to similar recipes online, I discovered that Paula Deen had the exact same recipe (with the specified 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger).

I was stumped.

The Food Network didn’t exist during my grandmother’s time.

Really, it was a lovely discovery.  Clearly this recipe has withstood time and tasting enough to make its way into the permanent collections of one woman baking in Cleveland, Ohio and another baking 20 years later in Savannah, Georgia.  Part of me would love to know its source—was it a woman’s magazine, a classic cookbook, a bake-sale favorite?— but I’m not putting too much effort into it.

It’s a family recipe.

One with a delicate crunch and velvety brown-spiced middles.


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Molasses Crinkles


Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup molasses (unsulfured)

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup chopped crystallized ginger


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 sheet trays with parchment paper.  Pour about 1 cup of granulated sugar in a shallow bowl for rolling the cookies before baking.

2.  Sift the next 7 ingredients (flour through salt) together in a large bowl.  Stir until the spices are evenly distributed throughout the flour.

3.  In another large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the brown sugar, oil and molasses until well combined, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and continue mixing on low speed until combined, about 1 minute more.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatuala.  Continue mixing and slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until completely combined.  Mix in the crystallized ginger.  The dough will still be very sticky.

4.  Using a mini ice cream scoop, add dough to the bowl of granulated sugar one scoop at a time.  Use your fingers to roll the ball in the sugar until covered then place on the prepared baking sheet, pressing lightly on the top of the ball with two fingers to flatten the cookie.  Repeat with remaining dough, adding more granulated sugar to the bowl as needed.

5.  Bake until the crinkles are just hard and crinkly on the outside but still soft and cakey on the inside, almost not done enough, 7 minutes only.  They will harden considerably as they cool.  Let cool for a few minutes in the pan then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool to the touch.  Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Yield: about 36 cookies

Thin & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Remember how I was planning to make the walnut chocolate chip cookies from Top Chef Just Desserts? Well, I got sidetracked by the thin & chewy walnut chocolate chip recipe in this month’s Saveur.

{Side note: Chock full of writers reminiscing about their favorite meals, this month’s Saveur is a keeper}

Saveur pulled the recipe from The Essential New York Times Cookbook, Amanda Hesser’s new follow-up to Craig Claiborne’s 1961 classic.  My mom’s copy of the original is worn with use and Ina routinely invokes it so we know it must be great.  I’d love to have both and compare what was popular then as opposed to now.

Follow the recipe as is and you’ll produce a wafer thin cookie with the perfect mix of crunch and chew.  While more complex than your average chocolate chipper, it’s not precious but deliciously sweet and salty and, because you grind the walnuts, has an overall nuttiness that’s more subtle and satisfying than biting into the occasional lumpy nut.

The low baking temperature allows the dough to spread on the pan before it hardens.  Shaving the chocolate helps it to melt, producing the ooey-gooey-ness I can’t resist.  The bittersweet chocolate is very rich and strong and so, yes, the cookies need a scant 1 tablespoon kosher salt.  I skimped on the salt and had to counteract all that thick chocolate darkness with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt.  Which, in the end, was no mistake at all.

{Side note 2: all this recent cookie baking is on account of our having Angus’ students over every Tuesday for cookies and Glee.  If you have a cookie recipe you’d recommend, email it to us at  We’d love to share a collection of readers’ favorites!}


Thin & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 60 cookies

2 cups flour
1 scant tablespoon kosher salt
1-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1-1/4 cup sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 ounces finely shaved bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces finely ground walnuts

Whisk flour, salt and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugars and butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time and then vanilla.  Add the flour mixture, chocolate and nuts.  Mix until just combined.  Chill for at least an hour before baking.

Preheat the oven to 325°.  Scoop 1-tablespoon portions of dough onto a prepared baking sheet, spacing each portion about 3-in apart.  Flatten with the palm of your hand and bake until golden brown, about 14 minutes.

Cracked Chocolate Cookies with Walnuts


I once made cracked chocolate cookies by tweaking the recipe from the Droste Cocoa Box.

They were amazing.

So amazing that I mentioned them in my journal, which is how I know I made them 10 years ago almost to the day.

Too bad I didn’t write down the recipe.

The back of the Droste Cocoa box is now exactly the same as the front.  No cookie recipe to be found.

I’m not the only one desperately seeking this recipe.  Geezer Gourmet— his words not mine— was smart enough to copy it down with his changes.  I made the same changes to his version that I remember making to the original and the result is lumpy-looking ooey-gooey cocoa softness with a touch of salt and walnut crunch.

Brutti ma buoni as they say in Italian.

Ugly but (very) good.

Just what we used to say about our pup.


Cracked Chocolate Cookies with Walnuts
Makes about 36 cookies

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 12-ounce bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, depending on your preference

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the sugar and mix for about three minutes more.

With the mixer on slow, add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla extract and cocoa powder.  Add the flour mixture bit by bit until just incorporated.  Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Chill dough for at least 15 minutes before baking.

Using 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop, drop 1-inch rounds of dough onto your prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes then cool for a few more in a baking sheet.  Cooled cookies will keep, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.


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Service on a Silver Tray


By Sarah Lagrotteria

French macaroons on a silver tray

Here’s a great hostessing technique courtesy of my friend Aerin.  She and her boyfriend hosted a barbecue last weekend and as the evening progressed and we abandoned the grill for small group conversations here and there about the yard, Aerin emerged from the house carrying a silver tray stacked high with chocolate, hazelnut and coffee-flavored French macaroons (my favorite!).  She personally offered them up to each and every guest which was an adorable way to make us all feel special.  I love the surprise of a chic dessert served so elegantly after burgers and beer.  Wouldn’t it also be fun to serve a simple homemade dessert–like these classic cookies or these ice-cream sandwiches— at an elegant cocktail party?

Chocolate, Oatmeal and Apricot cookies

Chocolate, Oatmeal and Apricot Cookies

Chocolate, Oatmeal and Apricot Cookies

By Lydia Ellison

When my Martha Stewart Living magazine arrives in the mail each month I have a special ritual. I make tea and snuggle on my sofa with my magazine and some sticky tabs and get lost in the pages of eggshell blue excellence. Last month I received my March issue and read it in this aforementioned fashion and when I got to the last page, the “Cookie of the Month” page, I was struck by inspiration. I got up off my sofa and went to the market so I could immediately make cookies (this is very rare, I hardly ever bake.)

Now I should admit I had been craving oatmeal cookies for awhile… I am an oatmeal-raisin person, not usually an oatmeal- chocolate cookie person but the MSL March “Cookie of the Month” was the perfect balance between the two, Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Apricots and White Chocolate! It sounded amazing and I had all the ingredients except for white chocolate and apricots. I made them with gluten free baking mix instead of regular flour (most oats are gluten free) and they worked perfectly! Moist and fluffy on the inside and crunchy and crisp around the bottom and edges.  I substituted half the white chocolate with unsweetened dark chocolate to cut the sweetness of the white chocolate and cut down the vanilla extract but added my signature almond extract instead. They were fantastic! Drew and I ate 3 cookies each right before dinner (in lieu of a salad course you could say) and later that evening our friends devoured the rest of them at a Top Chef viewing and never once suspected they were gluten free. Success.

You can of course make them with normal flour if you and your loved ones are not sensitive to gluten.

Chocolate, Oatmeal and Apricot Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe

Makes about 4 dozen (I froze half the dough and baked them off the next week)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or Gluten Free Baking Mix)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
4 ounces white chocolate chips
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
7 ounces dried apricots, preferably California, chopped (1 1/2 cups)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour (or GF baking mix substitute), oatmeal, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla and almond extracts and eggs, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just combined. Stir in chocolates and apricots. Cover, and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
2. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges but still soft in the center, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.