Our cookie jar is empty, it's a rainy day and our daughter is stopping over this afternoon . . . perfect reasons to bake her favorite cookies.
Every time I make Molasses Apple Cookies, I'm reminded of when she was in kindergarten and came home one day shortly before Christmas Vacation and announced excitedly that they were having a party and she needed to bake cookies.
She then produced a note from her teacher asking if we would be able to supply some Christmas cookies for their party in a couple of days.
I asked Chicken Mama (was she Chicken Baby then?) what kind of cookie she would like to make thinking she would pick one of our traditional holiday cookies.
"Mowasses Appo!" she gleefully exclaimed.
"Uh . . . well, Sweetie . . . how about if we make some Sugar Cookies with red and green sprinkles? Or Thumbprints with a little piece of marachino cherry on top?"
She didn't throw a fit (fits were frowned on in our house) but she was terribly disappointed that she wasn't going to get to take her very favorite cookies for the party.
Oh, what the heck, I thought. It's her party. So what if Molasses Apple Cookies don't look very festive.
And so in a few days time off to school she went (pleased as punch) with her little box of very un-Christmas looking cookies.
End of story . . . beginning of recipe.
MOLASSES APPLE COOKIES
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup finely chopped apples
Cream butter, sugar and molasses. Beat in egg. Add lemon juice and blend well. Mix in dry ingredients. Add raisins and chopped apples and mix until well blended.
Drop onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for about 10 minutes. (Don't overbake, these are moist cookies.) Cool on racks and store in an air-tight container.
Mmmm, very moist and very delicious. Especially with a glass of cold milk!
A couple of other notes about these cookies:
I cut the recipe out of a newspaper many years ago and the first time I made them, halfway through the mixing up process, I discovered . . . whoopsie . . . there was NO FLOUR listed in the ingredients! So I just kept adding flour until it looked right. Happily, they worked the first time around.
The original recipe didn't call for raisins but I think they're a super-yummy addition. Of course, if you have a strange abhorrence of raisins like my son-in-law does, you may leave them out. (Before adding raisins to any cookie recipe, I always soak them in boiling water first to plump 'em up a bit.)
Now through winter is a great time to make Molasses Apple Cookies because they are so moist that in the humid summertime, they tend to gum-up and stick together. They still taste fine but you end up pulling one big glop of a cookie chunk out of the jar rather than an individual one.
My daughter's tastes have become more sophisticated now and I'm sure she'd never dream of making these cookies to serve at holiday time, but they still rank right up there with her most favorites taste-wise!