Trust me I am not an arrogant person but I must say if there is one thing in this world that I do very well, it is that I can bake really good cookies. Baking cookies is very relaxing for me, it's something I really enjoy doing and it's something that has come very naturally to me. So many times in my life friends and family have asked if they can come watch how I make them so theirs will turn out like mine. I've had boyfriends and husbands of friends say that they wish their girlfriend/wife could make cookies like me....I hate when they say that! My ex-mother-in-law used to pay me to bake cookies every week for her so she could put them in my father-in-law's lunch that she packed for him every day. I will share some of my secrets because I think good recipes should be shared. My ex-mother-in-law has THE BEST recipe for Italian Fig Cookies and she won't share it because the man who gave it to her, who is now deceased, said he would give it to her if she didn't share it. I think it's such a shame that a great recipe will go to the grave with her because she refuses to share it. I keep asking my son (her grandson) to ask her for the recipe, hoping that she has become wiser as she is older and realize that it should be shared. He's afraid to ask her! Oh well, anyhow, here are some of my secrets and a great recipe that was given to me over 20 years ago. One of my first jobs was at General Electric working as a clerk in Cost Accounting...you can't get a more boring job than that. Luckily there were a lot of great women I worked with there. I was only 19 years old and I met Susan who was in her 30's back then. She was from Vermont. Even back then I adored everything about New England and I hadn't even been there yet so of course I adored Susan. She brought in molasses cookies to work one day and they were the best cookie I had ever tasted. She gave me the recipe and I have been making these cookies regularly ever since! That would be 28 years that I have been making these cookies. My kids grew up eating these and still love them. I lost contact with Susan for many, many years but in 2000 I was in the cafeteria of a different company and she walked up and asked if my name was Cindy. I was so shocked that she recognized me that I forgot to tell her that I'm now know for her great cookie recipe! I got laid off from that company and have lost contact with her again. I'm sure our paths will cross again and I will remember to mention the cookie recipe!
Finally...here are some of my tips for making great cookies: Make sure you cream the butter shortening really well with the sugar. Only use really good quality REAL Vanilla...it's worth the price! When it comes time to mix in the dry ingredients don't overmix...just mix until the dry ingredients are mixed in. I always line my baking sheet with foil, shiny side up., this really makes a difference! Under bake rather than over bake. Some of you may already know all this so I hope I didn't bore you.
Here is my (Susan's) recipe for Molasses Cookies
3/4 Cup Melted shortening
1 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Molasses
2 1/2 Cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ground cloves
1/2 tsp. Ground ginger
1 tsp. Cinnamon
additional sugar for rolling and sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a small bowl and set aside. Cream melted shortening with sugar. Mix in molasses and eggs. Add dry indredients and mix until just blended. (The batter will be a little sticky.) Roll into balls and roll into sugar. Put on greased baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Bake about 10 minutes. When they come out of the oven sprinkle with some additional sugar. Allow to cool on baking sheet and few minutes and then transfer to wire rack.
Let me know if you try the recipe...and remember don't over bake them they are better slightly under baked.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
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