Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Molasses Cookies

Servings: Makes about 25 cookies

Molasses is created during the refining of sugar cane, when juice is squeezed from the cane and boiled to a thick syrup. The first boiling produces mild light molasses. Dark molasses comes from the second boiling and is traditionally used in baking or for creating rich marinades. A third boiling creates Blackstrap molasses, the bitter dregs of the barrel, not recommended for cooking or baking.

You can find molasses in your supermarket's baking aisle.

The Benefits of Molasses
Molasses is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of Magnesium.

Molasses cookies make a great after-school treat, or put one or two in your child's lunch box for a mid-day snack!

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 sticks (1 cup/8 oz/226g) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C), and lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, allspice and cinnamon.

In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy and beat in molasses. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture and combine well.

In a small shallow bowl put remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Form dough into 2-inch balls and roll in sugar. On baking sheets arrange balls about 4 inches apart and flatten slightly with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake cookies in batches in middle of the oven 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. (Cookies should be soft.) Transfer cookies with a metal spatula to racks to cool.

Makes about 25 cookies.

Date: February 5, 2005