This post isn’t about kale, I promise, but I am always intrigued by the bubbly nature of kale leaves, and since I pulled out all but two of my kale plants last weekend due to a very serious case of aphid infestation, we may as well just call this a memorial. ”Thank goodness!” Peter says in the background, ”About time!” Well, frankly, I agree. And on the slippery-slope of eating less kale, I have filled the void with a number of rather moist and gently crumbly sweet breads.
It started with some banana bran muffins that are healthy in imagination only. Peter pointed out that other than the addition of fruit, they have the same butter to sugar to flour ratio as chocolate chip cookies. The
pumpkin butternut squash bread we made next as a midterms distraction was even further removed from steamed kale. And then finally tonight, as I was contemplating how much I would like to make a certain black sticky gingerbread cake, I remembered that it was actually make-cookies-for-Women-in-Physics-night, and gingerbread cake plans were replaced with molasses/ginger cookies. Fortunately, these cookies aren’t much to look at… which means you can convince your friends that they don’t taste good either and keep them all for yourself. I tried this once on Peter, but I’m sure most of you could guess how that went (now he counts the cookies and eyes me suspiciously).
Aunt Madge’s Molasses Crinkles (a family recipe from my Grandmother)
3/4 cups butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons molasses (1/4 cup)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch of salt
Like so many family recipes, this one has the simple directions to: “Drop by teaspoonful on greased baking sheet. Bake in moderate oven.”
In case that isn’t enough direction, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the butter until soft and then add and mix in the brown sugar. I use electric beaters for all cookie-making these days; the rush of whirring metal is addictive. Next add the egg and molasses and mix in thoroughly. If you aren’t as averse to dirty dishes as some people in this house, you can mix the remaining ingredients (the “dries”) in a separate bowl before adding them to the sugar-butter mixture, but I just pile everything on top, add a halfhearted mix with one of the measuring spoons (since it’s already dirty) and then, you guessed it, mix everything with the electric beaters until very well-combined. Now we can return to the original instructions, which say to drop the cookies by teaspoonfuls on a
greased parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies are set on top; they won’t be entirely solid until they cool, and if you don’t over-bake them, they develop a nice chewy consistency in the middle. Let the cookies cool on a cookie rack and consume with a large glass of milk.
Madge was my Great Great Aunt. This recipe came from her sister-in-law who had a bakery and a copy of the recipe was saved by my Grandmother.