Robin Sheridan of Redbird Style & A Chow Life shares a favorite holiday cookie recipe from her childhood today on the Guest Blog. The photos for the post are taken by her talented photographer husband, Kirk Mastin. I hope to be sharing some of my own holiday baking soon. 😉
by guest contributor Robin Sheridan
There was no messing around about cookies in my mother’s house. Cookie baking was serious business. That is not to say there was some sort of long holiday cookie baking marathon, however. We were not nearly so organized. It was more of a baking spree or sprint in the days leading up to Christmas. I can distinctly recall waking up late at night and padding into the kitchen in woolen socks and a flannel nightie (still a wardrobe staple) only to find my mother, coated in flour, seated on her stool amidst a sea of baking racks and pans. The smell was intoxicating. There is just nothing better.
When I phoned my mother to ask her for this recipe, she initially had no idea what I was talking about. In fact, she told me she explored so many different molasses cookie recipes over the years in order to find the perfect recipe that she sort of lost track of them. I was shocked because this recipe stands out so dramatically in my mind and is tightly associated with the fever and excitement of Christmas Eve. Cookies are good for excited hearts, you see. After a few moments of description and memory jogging, however, my mother remembered. Fifteen minutes later, she had the war torn recipe printed in her swirly hand-writing in her hot hands. She recited it to me, including helpful hints and suggestions, over the phone from San Francisco. Now, I bring Mary Lou’s recipe for molasses cookies to you.
Why? Well, have you noticed all the holiday party invitations you received this year? You’re a popular person. Maintaining that popular status is important. You can’t do that by buying a bottle of wine at the grocery store on the way to the party. Oh, you know what I mean. I’m talking about the bottle of wine that you spend only seconds considering in the wine aisle. It’s not too expensive. Less than $20? It’s not too cheap. More than $5. It’s right in the middle. Maybe it’s even on sale. And, of course, there’s a cool label which demonstrates you care about coolness and such.
Let’s think about that wine bottle for a moment. Do you think the host or hostess will really remember it? Isn’t it more likely that bottle is consumed quickly during the party amongst a sea of other wines? A likely scenario. So, how can you stay popular? Make these cookies and bring them to your next party. They will be remembered and, therefore, so will you. What speaks to the holidays better than a cookie spiced delicately with ginger, cinnamon, and molasses? Nothing. And, moreover, what says you care more about someone than something homemade? Nothing!
Enjoy and, while they bake, take a stroll around my etsy shop! Maybe you can find something fun to wear to the party?
Mary Lou’s Raisin Jingle Cookies
3/4 cup butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tblsp. white sugar (for dusting)
1/4 cup molasses
2 and 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/4 cup raisins
Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the molasses and egg and beat until fluffy. In another bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and baking soda. Working in batches, stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Continue until a coarse batter is formed. Add the raisins and mix into it as well. Chill the cookie dough for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, take a scoop of the cookie and roll it into a ball in your hands. Roll the ball in the white sugar and place the balls 2 and 1/2 inches apart on a greased or lined baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes until the edges are browned and the center is still a bit soft. Cool the cookies on a rack. Eat. Give as gift. Enjoy.
About the contributor: Robin Sheridan is a designer who lives in Seattle, WA. She has an on-line store, Redbird Style, where she sells stylish accessories. She is also an avid home cook and has a blog, A Chow Life, on which she chronicles her culinary adventures. Robin is married to Kirk Mastin, an award winning photographer. Kirk, who responsible for the cookie pictures, specializes in photojournalistic wedding photography. He also teaches and consults in the area of digital story-telling.