Molasses Cookies From Not As Advertised

Ernestine had lifted the covered platter from the counter and held it closely once more before proffering it to Mel. It smelled like molasses.

“My Momma says to give you the cookies.”

“Thank you.” Mel accepted the platter gravely. She lifted the cover and smiled. “These cookies are lovely. Did you make them?”

“Yes.” There was no pride in Ernestine’s thick voice, only a dull acceptance.

“Well, I expect they are delicious. They certainly look good.” Mel winced at the false cheer in her voice, but Ernestine seemed oblivious. They sat at the kitchen table, Ernestine with her hands clasped tightly, Mel pouring tea and doling out the enormous cookies.

With the lemonade experience firmly in mind, Mel nibbled the edge of the cookie, her other hand poised over her cup of tea. But the cookie was delicious, chewy and fragrant with cloves and nutmeg. Mel’s eyes widened appreciatively.

“Ernestine.” She addressed the young woman who was stolidly working away at her own cookie. “This may be the best cookie I have ever had in my life. Did you actually make this?”

“Uh, huh,” Ernestine stopped chewing and looked at Mel questioningly.

I bet you wondered why everyone in Blue Hill wants one of these molasses cookies.

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup dark molasses

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Extra sugar in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.

Cream sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add molasses and eggs and mix well. In a second bowl, sift and combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir well to combine. Pinch off walnut sized lumps of dough with sugared fingers and roll in the sugar bowl to coat. Place on greased cookie sheet, three inches apart (dough will spread). Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Let cool before devouring.