Molasses Rum Cookies

Kaki!

It’s been so long since I’ve seen you!  Too long.  When can we remedy this.*

I visited my long time friend Stephanie in upstate New York a few weekends ago, as she was someone else it had been much too long since I’d seen in person.  I got to spend time with her and her husband and their son Baylor, who is four months old and freakin’ adorable.  He smiles all the time, it is incredibly cute.  Plus it was great to see him while he was still just a little guy!

We spent one evening while I was there at a friend’s game night, to which I naturally brought some cookie dough.**  We may have killed it at Cards Against Humanity that night, but the cookies, the cookies killed it at tasting awesome.  These, Kaki, are the fall-flavor cookies I’ve been searching for!

Now the, upsides: you can totally taste the rum flavor in these babies, which I really liked.  They also have just the right amount of chewiness.  And they don’t use that much rum so you can bring the remainder with some Dr. Pepper to said party and boom, you brought dessert and drinks.  And the greatest guest award goes to…

There were a few slight downsides, though.  The dough is soft, really soft, and super sticky;  I found it difficult to work with.  But once you’ve dolloped them on the cookie sheet in little blobs they do flatten out all on their own in the oven.  Also, we had leftovers for a few days and they got a little tougher each day.  I’d say they have about three days of shelf life in them, which is shorter than I’d prefer for baked goods.  Do you have any good baking ingredient tips that extend shelf life?  Or would you store a cookie like this in the fridge, maybe?  I don’t typically do that, but maybe that’s what I needed to do.

Molasses Rum Cookies

adapted from TheKitchn

makes, um, a medium amount?  We didn’t count.  The original recipe says 18 cookies, which seems about right.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 6 tablespoons dark rum

Pre-heat oven to 375*F.  Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.  Add the ginger, clove, allspice, and salt, and stir to combine.  Add the baking soda and flour and stir again.  Add the molasses and rum and stir until the dough just comes together; it will be very sticky, not dry at all.

Dollop large spoonfuls on the prepared cookie sheet.  Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes.  (The original recipe notes the tops of the cookies will be all one color, without any light areas in the middle or dark areas on the edges.  I’m not sure I saw that distinct of a color change, but maybe you will.)  Remove from the oven and let the cookies finish baking on the hot cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container for about three days.

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I can’t wait to make these again, Kaki!  Maybe next time I see you we can make them together?  And drink apple cider?

–Caitlin

*No question mark.  That’s a statement.

**We totally didn’t run out of time to bake them before we arrived and that’s why we brought the dough, no way.

P.S.  We also visited this great apple orchard while I was up visiting Steph.  It was called Bowman Orchard, and we picked apples and ate apple cider doughnuts and I proved my corn maze navigation prowess.  It was a beautiful afternoon.

Also, they had a pirate ship:

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And here is a grainy phone camera distance shot of the horses and fall foliage that were just too picturesque not to attempt to capture:

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And here is a close up of their adorable spotted pig:

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Recipe Recap

Kaki!

Fall.  Is.  Happening.

Acorn squash!  Soup!  Gingerbread!

So it still gets up to 85-degrees here, so what?  It’s a new season of tasty things I haven’t eaten in a year and I am all about it. Here’s what I’ve been making these days:

Mac-N-Cheese in Acorn Squash

Girl, have you made mac-n-cheese from scratch?  It’s way easier than I thought it would be.  It’s a white roux, plus milk, plus cheese.  Then you add some mustard and some other flavors.  Add noodles. That’s it.

Except of course I took it about four steps further, because I cannot leave anything alone.  I added 8 ounces of frozen (thawed and squeezed dry) spinach to the sauce, which is something I will definitely repeat.  I roasted acorn squash to serve as an edible bowl, which was tasty, though the texture between the roasted squash and the noodles was a little too similar.  I mixed Parmesan and panko breadcrumbs together and added them in the last 10 minutes of baking to the top of the whole mess.  That was a good choice their crunch added much needed texture to the dish.

Best part, though?  I made this at Cooper’s, and at the last minute we added some of this garlic-y bread dipping seasoning she had in her pantry (not that exact brand, but similar).  It made it, just amped up the flavor tenfold.

Split-Pea Soup

I’d never had split-pea soup before, Kaki.  But Elissa Altman mentioned it in her memoir as a really tasty and yet, er, cost-effective recipe, so obviously I had to try it.  I’m really glad I did, this soup is tasty.  But a couple of notes: this soup is mostly about the ham.  Great flavor, but it’d be hard to de-meat this particular recipe.  Also, it was really not that tasty just after I finished making it, but the next day it was way, way tastier.  I’m used to soups tasting better after a day or so, but this was a drastic improvement.

Gingerbread Cake Cookies

Tasty.  Really tasty.  The dough had a ton of molasses flavor, almost too much, but it mellowed a lot after baking.  Even so, these were just shy of what I was looking for.  I’m going to try this Drunken Molasses Ginger Cookie recipe next and see if it has that elusive, “This is it!” quality I’m looking for.

What have you been making lately, my dear?  Do tell. 🙂

Happy Monday,

Caitlin

Recipe Recap

Kaki, your last post… so many things:

  • It reminded me of the song from My Fair Lady, that starts, “Words, words, words!  I’m so sick of words!”  (Yes, you should watch it, and the Julie Andrews version, naturally.)
  • You made a shaped cake.  You iced it in more than one color.  That is commitment.  I told Cooper I’d make this adorable monkey-shaped cake for her daughter’s first birthday, but I’ve never done this “Make a ridiculously cute cake” thing, so, um, tips would be much appreciated.
  • Yogurt raisins for teeth.  Inspired.
  • I didn’t know you were a Shark Week fan!  I can’t say I am.  Something about, um, fear?  But Rob Lowe’s commercial for it this year was a hoot.

Here’s what I’ve been cooking up these days myself:

Breakfast Pizza

I’m a huge cold-pizza-for-breakfast fan, but sometimes pizza dough is on sale at the store and you have some extra sausage and eggs to use up and breakfast pizza is the most logical use for all of these things.  This recipe, though I only used it as a jumping off point (mostly for temperature and baking times), worked great.

Rosemary Nuts

I bought that huge container of almonds you guys had purchased in San Antonio.  You inspired me.  But then I also had some fresh rosemary and decided to make these nuts.  They were super tasty just out of the oven.  However, once they’d cooled they suffered that all too common fate of nuts: all of the seasonings just fell off.  Sigh.  Do you have any tips for keeping flavorful tastiness on roasted nuts?

Smoky Spicy Sesame Coconut Nuts

These, however, kept their seasoning just great.  Only problem was (as it continues to be) my oven, which didn’t really crisp up the coconut in the baking time indicated.  Should I go longer and cooler next time, or hotter and quicker?  That coconut can burn in an instant.

Nectarine Pistachio Bars

Not that we need further proof that Deb is a genius, but, um, here is further proof.  These were inhaled at book club, even with the substitution of over-ripe nectarines for the suggested apricots.  Kaki, I adore apricots, but have never used fresh, only dried and in jam form.  But I swear there were fresh apricots in my grocery store for a week, tops.  Do they have just a crazy short season?  Well, next year I’ll be prepared.

Roasted Cabbage

I really like this recipe.  It uses up any leftover cabbage one may have laying around, it’s super flavorful, and it’s a vegetable, so, obviously it’s healthy*.  And I used up the last of a vinaigrette I’d mixed up a while ago that was languishing in my fridge for this recipe, so it used both leftover cabbage and leftover vinaigrette.  Make sure to just coat the cabbage in dressing, though; any dressing that pools on the bottom of the cookie sheet will cause the cabbage to braise instead of crisp up and roast.  Then you’ll be trying to gently pour 425* liquid down your sink with the oven door open and cabbage sliding almost off of your cookie sheet one afternoon.  It’s not a cute scene.

Manhattan

I have to look this recipe up every time I make one, but man, this is such a tasty cocktail.  In fact, I may or may not be writing this blog post after having consumed just such a beverage.

 

I’m missing you these days, my dear!  I hope there are fabulous late-summer vegetable dishes in your weekend plans.

–Caitlin

 

*Yes, yes, we all know it’s not actually obvious.  And that vegetables can be cooked in unhealthy ways.  But still, go with  me on this, it’s cabbage with dressing.

P.S.  I finally picked up House of Cards: Season 2.  And have been promptly obsessed all over again.  It has meant I’ve been up very late and been very sleepy at work this week.