Saturday, October 30, 2010

Molasses Crinkle Cookies...and Save the Elephants!

Did you know that elephants love molasses? Well, I must be part elephant because I have adored molasses as far back as I can remember! I use molasses in recipes every chance I get. This recipe goes back so far, I'm not sure of its origin. It first appeared in print (that I know of) in the 1956 Betty Crocker Cookbook. But, "she" didn't invent it! When Mrs. Fred Fredell of St. Paul, Minnesota, served these delightful cookies, someone affiliated with The Washburn Crosby Company (home of "Betty Crocker") begged for the recipe. It was added to the cookbook and countless homes have enjoyed the cookies since. The reason I didn't say "Betty Crocker" asked for the recipe is that, well I'm about to...well, maybe...burst a bubble because there is not, nor was there ever, a "Betty Crocker." The Washburn Crosby Company of Minneapolis, one of the six big milling companies that merged into General Mills in 1928, received thousands of requests each year in the late 1910s and early 1920s for answers to baking questions. In 1921, managers decided that it would be more intimate to sign the responses personally; they combined the last name of a retired company executive, William Crocker, with the first name, Betty, which was thought of as warm and friendly. The signature came from a secretary, who won a contest among female employees. The same signature still appears on Betty Crocker products today!*

Here is the recipe for those deliciously thick, chewy cookies with the cracked, sugary tops. Oh, and back to the elephants. I always use Grandma's Molasses because it is so very good AND because they support The Elephant Sanctuary in my homestate of Tennessee! B&G Foods donates a year's supply of their Grandma's Molasses to The Elephant Sanctuary each year! They use the tasty molasses to get the elephants to take their medicines and dietary supplements, plus it's a great source of iron, calcium and potassium!

Molasses Crinkle Cookies

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/4 c. Grandma's Molasses
2 1/4 c. plain flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
Small amount of brown or white sugar...your preference!


Cream together shortening, brown sugar, egg and molasses. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill dough. Heat oven to 375°. Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts; dip tops of balls in sugar. Place, sugared side up, on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with three or four drops of water each for crinkled tops. Bake 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Note: I tend to underbake my cookies by a minute or so...ALL my cookies. Since they continue to bake on the sheet once you take them out of the oven, by taking them out a bit sooner than the recipe calls for, I end up with never-dried-out, never overbaked cookies that everyone loves!

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