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Lucinda's Molasses Drops

Some of the best family heirlooms are edible, like these cookies, a tweaked version of Lucinda Scala Quinn's great-grandmother's recipe.

  • Yield: Makes about 3 dozen large or 18 dozen small
Lucinda's Molasses Drops

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2009

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
  • Sanding sugar, for rolling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves. Whisk in brown sugar. Stir in melted butter, molasses, milk, and egg. Fold in candied orange peel.

  2. Roll 1 tablespoon or 1/2 teaspoon dough into a ball. Roll in sanding sugar, and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill in refrigerator for 5 minutes. Flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool.

Cook's Note

Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Reviews (14)

  • StacyAnn 23 Feb, 2011

    I made these cookies last week and they were yummy! I used a small glass measuring cup to melt my butter in the microwave and I used the same cup to measure my molasses and milk. I used a small ice cream scoop (1 1/2") to form my cookies and it made about 32 of them. I will definitely make this cookie again - it reminded me of a good old fashion cookie.

  • cuznvin 17 Dec, 2010

    These arent GINGER cookies. They are molasses cookies! Why would anyone think they should taste like ginger? Is it really necessary to pick the recipe apart? Go buy slice n bake cookies!

  • cuznvin 17 Dec, 2010

    These arent GINGER cookies. They are molasses cookies! Why would anyone think they should taste like ginger? Is it really necessary to pick the recipe apart? Go buy slice n bake cookies!

  • Hitomi22 15 Dec, 2010

    Just made a double batch of these (yielded ~70 cookies) - pretty tasty! Like ina_C, I didn't have candied orange peel (they're not readily available in my part of the town) so I ended up using crystallized ginger instead. I think I was expecting super ginger-tasting cookies, so they were a bit disappointing in that respect. I would perhaps increase the amount of ground ginger to 1 tsp per batch. I also chilled the dough before rolling them into balls and baking them, so no problem there.

  • ina_C 14 Dec, 2010

    These are tasty. I didn't have candied orange peel or sanding sugar so I used orange zest and turbinado sugar. The batter was too soft and sticky to roll balls with initially, so I had to chill it in the freezer first until it was firm enough. My cookies came out darker and more spread out than the ones pictured.

  • ina_C 14 Dec, 2010

    These are tasty. I didn't have candied orange peel or sanding sugar so I used orange zest and turbinado sugar. The batter was too soft and sticky to roll balls with initially, so I had to chill it in the freezer first until it was firm enough. My cookies came out darker and more spread out than the ones pictured.

  • Chrissyg 13 Dec, 2010

    Can't you just double the recipe?

  • ndematteo 11 Dec, 2010

    These cookies are delicious! The dough was firm and I even had to take a break so I could make my own orange crystals. It makes a small amount of cookies, but so easy to make I made a second batch right after the first.

  • mykele 11 Dec, 2010

    There is a huge difference between 3 ddozen and 18 dozen,
    a typo, maybe??? Do not skip the chilling time and make it more than
    15 minutes, Then preheat your oven while you are rolling the
    cookies. I can't imagine rolling a 1/2 tsp of dough!! Even then you
    will NOT get 18 dozen which would be 216 pebbbles. This
    is my daily entertainment...proof reading recipes is not my hobbby.

  • Anarie 11 Dec, 2010

    Be sure you're using UNsalted butter as directed. Salted butter varies more in its water content, and in a small recipe like this, that little bit of extra water could be what made the dough too soft.

  • desilver 10 Dec, 2010

    Unlike prior commentators I had no problems with the recipe. I did not, however, use the full 1/4 cup of molasses (I ran short), but maybe 3/4 of that amount - less than 1/4 cup. The cookies are chewy and cake-like, delicately spiced, not overly sweet. Delicious. I use turbinado sugar rather than sanding sugar, as I have it on hand and the crystals are large and decorative.

  • seriouslymartha 23 Nov, 2010

    This recipe does not work. The dough is like sticky batter.... what a waste of my time and my ingredients.

  • totsie616tbart 5 Jan, 2010

    The dough came out too soft to form balls, I had to add quite abit of flour to form balls and the cookies came out too cakey. I'm wondering if the amount of flour is incorrect.

  • sandritapg 23 Dec, 2009

    l

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