We were completely alone, Lulubelle and I. Old Spouse was off carousing at some year-end function, O Bunn was at a birthday party and Diski had found a hole in the fence and gone to visit with the dogs next door. I wasn’t as glum as Lulubelle at being the only ones home, but I was a bit grumpy at the prospect of not being able to have my customary Friday night glass of wine; the Bunn’s party would end at 9pm and one really can’t take the chance of drinking and driving, even with the party house being just a few blocks away.

There was nothing for it but to bake away the time, with forays to the lounge to watch the progress of Celebrity Masterchef UK.  I got a bit tearful when old Paul Young was sent off; affable bloke, but the years have not been kind to his face. In the kitchen I spotted a bottle of blackstrap molasses that I bought on a whim some time back.  I’d seen it in the supermarket and instantly had a flood of memories about my Grandpa’s farm.  He always had a gallon-drum of the stuff standing just inside the kitchen door.  I think he gave it to the cows every morning as a sort of booster, but my Grandma used it too, for all manner of things.  She’d put a saucer of it on the windowsill on days when the flies were really bad, the flies would gravitate to it and get stuck and there’d be a heaving mass like something from Dante’s Inferno by mid-afternoon. She also baked molasses cookies, a bitter-sweet confection that confused my young tastebuds.

I’ve come to love these biscuits; the spicy crunch is just perfect for vanilla ice cream sandwiches.


My recipe comes from Joy of Cooking, but I know it so well that I seldom refer to the book when making it.

¾ cup butter and 1 cup sugar, beaten until fluffy.

Add in and beat well:

2 cups flour, ½ tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 large egg, ¼ cup molasses, 1 tsp baking powder.

You’re left with a soft dough, refrigerate for an hour until firm and workable, then form into small balls and coat with sugar.  Set on a baking tray an inch apart and bake at 180C for 10 minutes.  The biscuits will harden on cooling.

38 Comments Add yours

  1. that looks easy

    pity you didn’t call, i would have come and drunk coffee and chatted

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s very easy and they keep well to boot.
      As it turned out she rang shortly before eight to ask me to fetch her, she wasn’t having a nice time; the Saxenwold crowd, you know …

  2. halfp1nt says:

    Morning Cindy,
    Gosh, I can’t remember when last I had a molasses cookie! I think I must have a look at Woolies this morning to see if they stock it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      They’re sure to have it, Shorty, look on the shelf where the honey and syrup are kept.

  3. nrhatch says:

    I use molasses for Ginger Snaps. I think the recipe is quite similar to this one.

    Lulubelle needs Botox to erase her furrows. She looks cross. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, very similar, with a hint of bitterness.
      Lulubelle was very sorry for herself.

  4. souldipper says:

    What a forlorn little face! I blew Lulubelle a kiss! And speaking of molasses, one day I saw this huge bottle of Organic Molasses and thought it would be a grand substitute for Maple Syrup on my porridge. Not so. However, next summer, when flies sneak in, I will be thanking your grandmother!

    1. theonlycin says:

      She has the forlorn look down pat, doesn’t she?
      Don’t let small children see the molasses-fly-mix, it is a distressing sight.

    1. theonlycin says:

      She knows how to walk the dog 😉

  5. Tandy says:

    hope the party ended well 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Earlier than expected …

  6. the imagery!… i too had a grandma and grandpa and their farm was a wonderland.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Sad that farming is a rare thing these days and few children will get to spend time on farms with grandparents 😦

  7. Artswebshow says:

    They sure would do down nicely with my morning coffee. lol

    1. theonlycin says:

      Sending you some via the virtual dumb-waiter …

      1. Artswebshow says:

        I didn’t receive them.
        Your dumb waiter really must be dumb. lol
        Or perhaos they fell into the sea on the way here. lol

      2. theonlycin says:

        Darn, I have some leftover lamb vindaloo, want that instead?

  8. Really, monumentally stupid question.
    Do you melt the butter before you put it in the cup?


    1. theonlycin says:

      Not stupid at all, the recipe book doesn’t say. I used room temp butter, which here is basically melted. I don’t know that it matters either way, Kate. Probably melted.

      1. Many thanks. Oh, for room temperatures which soften butter…moan moan moan…..

      2. theonlycin says:

        Rock hard or runny goo, impossible to manage in our climate 😦

  9. granny1947 says:

    Hi My Friend…think I might just try this recipe…sounds yummy!

  10. The biscuits sound delicious. I remember having spoonfuls of molasses when we visited farms in Zambia … why, I’m not sure! It tasted good, though, and probably kept the flies away! 🙂
    BTW, I worked with a guy here who toured with Paul Young for years, as his drummer!
    Sunshine xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Gosh, lucky for you, I had a massive crush on Paul Young as a teen. In his song ‘Love of the common people’ I used to misquote the lyrics as ‘Daddy’s gonna buy you a green cathedral’ instead of ‘Daddy’s gonna buy you a dream to cling to’ …

      1. Cindy, I have had an idea rolling around in my head for a while about writing a post on misquoted song titles and lyrics. This is confirmation – what a hoot! xx

  11. leigh says:

    Stitched by God…..

  12. suzicate says:

    Lulubelle is precious! My household is big on molassses cookies. It’s something I usually make in the fall and winter, maybe it’s a cold weather comfort sweet for us.

    1. theonlycin says:

      All weather staple here 🙂

  13. gospelwriter says:

    Ah poor Lulubelle – so forlorn. Those cookies look lovely and I’ll bet they taste divine, especially with vanilla ice cream.

  14. Hi cindy ! first I had to translate “molasses” in French… Mélasse of course ! Memories flowed back (like the Proust´madeleines) and then I remembered the taste of it. Spoonfulls of mélasse my mother used to give my sister and I in Spring and Autumn. “It´s good for you”, she said. I will try your receipe, all spices I love. Thanks 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Have a happy week Isa 🙂

  15. Tokeloshe says:

    Lulubelle is just too c-u-t-e 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s