Baking season has once again arrived and I am one happy woman. A few years ago the girls gave me the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion for Mother’s Day. This is one of the best cookbooks I have ever owned. Not only does it have recipes but it explains why things work the way they do. Much like the movie “Julie and Julia” I decided to bake my way through this book. It has notes written on recipes and batter stuck between some pages. It also has other recipes printed and folded in between the pages. That to me says it’s a great book when the “other” good recipes can be found stashed in it.
These particular cookies I come back too again and again. Soft Molasses Cookies are what I refer to as an “adult” cookie. They are highly spiced and not overly sweet – perfect with that afternoon cup of tea or coffee. They are good right out of the oven but they are better the next day when they’ve completely cooled and developed that chewy texture. They are rolled in sugar before baking which results in a crunchy sugar crust on the outside with the soft, chewy center. Mmmmmmm.
Now I have to tell you a little secret about these cookies (or any soft cookie you may bake). When you remove the pan from the oven hold it about a foot off of the floor and drop it so it lands flat. Yeah I know, sounds crazy but what it does is immediately compress the soft center of the cookie. By doing this they stay soft and chewy for days. I have a rug by the oven so they just come out and onto the floor. Yes, my family thought I was crazy the first time they saw me do it but the proof was in the eating.
These are the things you learn when you take the time to read your cookbook. It actually tells you to do this when baking soft cookies. Although I must confess the first time I did it I made sure no one was around to see me do it.