Molasses Time

Molasses Time

Molasses time. That’s what I’m calling this moment post-confinment. Or as the French say, “déconfinement”.  Someday someone will explain to the world in a precise and scientific way how Covid-19 made time thick, sluggish.  I often think it’s because we’re all simply waiting to see what happens.

When I walk down rue Cherche-Midi and weave around all the little restaurant tables on the sidewalk or walk between those on the street where there were once parking spots, or stop at the my neighborhood café, the  Bistrot des Amis, for a  beer or coffee,  I think all is well and the world is back to normal.  There’s the background noise of glasses and silverware, cars and trucks, scooters and bicycles.  Shoppers are about with large orange bags from Le Bon Marche, and the aroma of freshly baked bread is never far away.  There are a few hiccups of course, like the lifeless windows of the Hotel Lutetia, closed until September, and the lack of American heard on the street, but mostly life feels pretty normal.

Time still feels like molasses, creeping along sometimes, hurtling through space at others. What?! It’s already time to make dinner, but didn’t I just turn off the morning alarm?  That’s what I mean about molasses – you upturn the jar and it sits there, then suddenly plops into the bowl.  Time is sluggish, and it speeds by.

As a little anecdote during this time of molasses, the French just held mid-term elections which resulted in an upturn of the government. Our wonderful Prime Minister left his post to become mayor of a small, thriving city.  His replacement is said to be his “copie carbone” carbon copy.  There are now more women than men in the government,  more greens than non-greens, green being the label of ecology, and a famed lawyer who is now the administrator of justice.  It bodes well as far as I can tell,  though recently one of my neighbors reflected, “ The new government has been in place three days, and most of the French hate them all already,” she said, shaking her head.  “That’s just how we are.”

That is related to time, because in no time, the new faces were announced; in no time they were reviled.  So, the French mind at least isn’t in molasses time, but in normal time, call it water time.  It flows, down its customary path.

I want to share with you a recipe that uses molasses in tribute to this time unlike any other .  Handed down to me by my grandmother, it is an iconic cookie, one that takes no time to make and bake, that speaks of affection and history, that tastes so delicious eaten on its own or dunked into milk, coffee, tea.   I hope you’ll enjoy them.

Print Recipe
MY GRANDMOTHER’S MOLASSES COOKIES
MY GRANDMOTHER’S MOLASSES COOKIES
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword ginger, molasses
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups;280g all-purpose flour
  • large pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon preferably Vietnamese
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 8 tablespoons; 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup; 125ml blackstrap molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword ginger, molasses
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups;280g all-purpose flour
  • large pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon preferably Vietnamese
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 8 tablespoons; 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup; 125ml blackstrap molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
MY GRANDMOTHER’S MOLASSES COOKIES
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together all the flour, salt, cinnamon, and the ginger onto a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Mix together the butter and the brown sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer until it is soft and fluffy. Add the molasses and mix until it is thoroughly combined, then thoroughly mix in the egg.
    Mix together the butter and the brown sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer until it is soft and fluffy. Add the molasses and mix until it is thoroughly combined, then thoroughly mix in the egg.
  4. Combine the soda with the hot water in a small bowl.,
    Combine the soda with the hot water in a small bowl.,
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture then add the cold water, mix, and add the baking soda and water mixture. Mix thoroughly, then add the raisins and mix well.
  6. Using two soup spoons, scoop up a generous tablespoon of dough and drop it onto the baking sheet, leaving about 1-inch (2.5cm) between each cookie.
    Using two soup spoons, scoop up a generous tablespoon of dough and drop it onto the baking sheet, leaving about 1-inch (2.5cm) between each cookie.
  7. Bake in the center of the oven until the cookies are puffed and baked all the way through, 8- 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Susan Riecken

    These look wonderful, Susan! The finished cookies appear to have raisins. If so, what quantity do you suggest? Love the molasses metaphor… xo

    1. Susan

      Hi Susan! These cookies “eat themselves” as the French might say, they’re so good. I hope you like them – there is 1/2 cup of raisins – recipe adapted and thanks for checking.

  2. Carol Guess

    Thanks for making me smile !
    Great molasses metaphor !
    Our weeks spent in your home in Louviers are some of our best French memories !!
    We choose a different section of France to visit each year: Brittany, Bordeaux, Provence, Loire,
    Normandy, etc. Our time in Normandy was a true favorite !!
    We had to cancel our trip to the Burgundy region and Paris this September. Hopefully, we can plan it for September 2021. We’ll make a date for dinner !!
    Keep sending your posts on your Paris observations. I adore them !
    A bientot,
    Carol Guess

    1. Susan

      Carol I’m so glad your memories are good, and let’s hope that this time next year will be open, and you’ll be free as a bird to come over. Would love to see you!

  3. cathy

    I love food that brings back memories and these look like delicious ones.

    1. Susan

      They’re addictive, seriously. I sometimes use the dough for the bottom of a tart, too, topped with rhubarb compote. Bake it first, then make compote, then cream. Yum!

  4. df

    Hi. I am noticing that there’s a little less flour and raisins and a little more ginger, from your recipe in Farmhouse Cookbook. Eager to try this newer version. Thank you!

    1. Susan

      You will let me know how it works, right?

  5. Donna

    i love all your books; so much I’ve read some over again, they transport me to that petite village charment in France, a place I’ve longed to visit for sometime. Hopefully one day I will. Tried many of your recipes; tomorrow tagine for my son and his family.

    1. Susan

      Oh, I hope your family loved the tagine! Thank you so much!

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