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Open Garden Mini Tour

Our garden will be open tomorrow (Sunday, June 4th) along with two other gardens in our area -  Ruth Clark 3111 NW 149th St, Vancouver, WA 98685  Vicki Green (and local glass artist Kevin Kanyo) 11914 NE 49th Court, Vancouver, WA 98686 Stop by for a stroll and lemonade and cookies! Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Sugar-Topped Molasses Cookies

I think molasses cookies are one of those things that you either love or hate. Michael doesn't like them and our neighbor's husband doesn't either. I find that they would not be my first choice if I had several types to choose from but once I eat one, I want another and another... I think they are a great cookie for this time of year when it starts to get colder. 

I have been on such a Maida Heatter kick for the past decade that I have neglected many of my other cookbooks. I pulled Dorie Greenspan's baking book from the shelf and was browsing through it when I came across this recipe. I haven't made many recipes from her book and I really should remedy that. It is a large, beautiful book and the recipes that I have tried in the past have been wonderful. This one is no exception.

Sugar-Topped Molasses Cookies (from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, Houghton Mifflin, 2006)

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
Pinch of black pepper
1 1/2 sticks (12 TBS.) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1 large egg

1/2 cup sugar, for rolling the cookies

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and pepper. 

Beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

Add the egg and beat an additional minute. 

Lower the speed of the mixer and add the flour mixture and mix until the flour streaks disappear.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour or freeze. (You can keep the dough refrigerated for up to 4 days).

Baking the Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 with the rack in the center position. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Work with one batch of dough at a time. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and roll it in the sugar.  Dip the bottom of a glass in the sugar and press the balls down until they are 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Place on the baking sheet.

Bake one sheet at a time for 12-14 minutes or until the tops feel set to the touch. Remove from the baking sheet with a spatula and transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the second batch of dough.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. I can tell it is getting colder, you are back to baking. I am sort of like that with molasses cookies. I think a few each fall/winter are good. Molasses is a flavor that reminds me of colder weather.
    Do you watch the British baking show? I don't even bake and it has captured my imagination. Even my DB watches with me now.


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