I remember these cookies fondly. My mother made them often and I used to grab two or three of them with a tall glass of cold milk. These molasses drop cookies are soft, chewy, and full of molasses flavour. The cinnamon and ginger help round out the slight bitterness that molasses can bring. I guarantee this will be one of your favourites.
These cookies also go by the name of Lassy cookies. Lassy is obviously a shortened form of molasses and has worked its way into the Newfoundland vernacular. There are lassy buns, lassy candy, and lassy bread. There is another cookie called the lassy mog. It starts off like the molassses drop cookie, but you add raisins and nuts to the batter. Of course, molasses is great by itself on some bread or toutons, but it’s even better in the form of a cookie.
You start by creaming together the shortening and the brown sugar. Once that is creamed add the egg. Whip this batter for two minutes. Don’t cheat and make sure you whip the batter for the proper amount of time. This incorporates air into the batter and will make your cookie light and fluffy. Take the time to preheat your oven to 350F.
While that is being mixed combine the sour milk and molasses. Milk can be soured by add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to fresh milk and let it sit for five minutes or so. When you mix the molasses into the milk you will see curdled pieces of milk floating about. This is perfectly fine. The soured milk help balance out the flavours of the cookie.
In another large bowl combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Use a wire whisk to evenly mix the dry ingredients.
Now, with your mixer on low add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Then add about 1/2 of the milk/molasses to the batter. Add the next third of flour, then the rest of the wet ingredients. Finally add the last of the flour mixture. You always want to end mixing with the dry ingredients. This way you can judge if the batter is too loose or stiff. Also you won’t run the risk of over mixing your batter. Mix until clear. That is, until you don’t see any white of the flour in the batter.
Line your cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat. You can just use cooking spray on your cookie sheet, but if you read this blog regularly you’ll realize I like using a Silpat. It makes cleaning so much easier and the cookies don’t stick at all. Invest in some Silpat liners. You’ll thank me later.
Scoop the batter with a #30 scoop onto the liners, leaving space for the cookies to spread slightly. Bake for 12-15 minutes in the middle of the oven. Because you can only do one pan at a time, I scooped my cookies and left them in a cool place so they wouldn’t deflate while the others were baking. The coolest place was my garage, so I set the pans out there. The cookies will look slightly underdone when you take them out, but rest asured, they will continue to bake when they cool on the pans.
Let them cool on the pans for a few minutes before you place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.