So ... it was Saturday and my traditional baking day. SB and my brother, Rich went off into the woods for a day hike and I was planning a gorgeous cookie platter for the evening's dessert. They were going to be 'wowed'. Rich brought a big old pan of short ribs so my dinner preparations were way easy last night ... the least I could do is make a killer dessert...right?
I played with my Great Aunt Verna's molasses cookie recipe. She always made these cookies as 'drops' that were full of raisins, but she once said that you could add more flour to the dough and make them as rolled cookies, so I tried just that. Of course, some had to be made in her traditional drop cookie fashion! It was fun to see them (and taste them!) just as she always made them. I used some of the batter, though, to change up by cutting some and dipping them in raw sugar. Another part of the dough was rolled and cut into sandwich rounds. Iced, and with their the tops dusted, they were pretty tea cookies.
I had an idea for a blueberry lemon icing that I have been wanting to develop ! It involves butter, cream cheese, pureed blueberries (some of last summer's bonanza that have been in our freezer), confectioner's sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest ... I'd hoped for a fresh light blueberry flavor and a light blue icing ... purplish blue, I got!
One cup of pureed berries yielded a bright purple icing. I put a bit too much lemon juice into the icing, though. The citrus ganged up on the blueberry flavor. I think I would just add the lemon zest next time and leave out the lemon juice altogether. These turned out to be pretty little cookies ...
I chilled the cookie platter before serving to firm up the icing. They were tasty!
The sugar frosted hearts have great crunch from those big sugar crystals.
Voila! Molasses cookies done three ways!
Aunt Verna's Molasses Cookies
In a large mixing bowl, beat together:
1 c. vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 c. sugar
1 c. molasses
1 large egg
1 c. cold water
Add and blend in:
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Blend in a bit at a time:
4 c. flour (for rolled out cookies use 5 - 5 1/2 c. flour)
3/4 c. raisins or currants
Drop by teaspoonsful onto greased cookie sheets and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 12 -15 minutes.
Don't overbake! Edges of the cookies should just be beginning to brown up and the tops should still be soft (but set). Remove from the cookies sheets immediately upon removal from the oven.
For rolled cookies, roll out chilled dough on a floured surface to 1/3 inch thickness and bake until edges are just browned. Remove from the cookie sheets to cool. Decorate by dipping in raw sugar before baking or icing/dusting when cooled.