This is one of those mornings when I wish I could stop the clock, drop everything that's calling for my attention, turn off all the lights in the house, and sit by a window, just watching the rain fall. I'd probably crack it open a bit and let the smell of the rain drift over my face. And then I'd most likely fall into a coma of ecstasy.
You know all those nursery rhymes and children's songs about the rain, and how you want it to go away? Well okay, I can only think of two off the top of my head. Those songs never applied to me. I'm not a "hot and sunny weather" type of girl. I love the rain.
Molasses cookies. They've got a pretty sweet setup going on.
To begin with, they're soft and chewy, and let's be honest--that alone wins them a blue ribbon.
Second, they're filled with cinnamon and ginger and cloves. My love affair with rainy days is strikingly similar to my love affair with cinnamon and ginger and cloves. In fact, if I could bake up a rainy day into a cookie, I believe it would incorporate cinnamon and ginger and cloves. I do.
Third, the turbinado sugar. That sweet, nutty crunch in every single bite. Divine.
And last but not least, the molasses. Someday if I get to heaven, I'm going to find the person who first decided to put molasses into a cookie (because he'll certainly be there), and I'm going to march right up to him and give him a big kiss.
Sparkly Molasses Cookies
adapted from Joy of Baking
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or safflower oil
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup turbinado sugar (for covering the cookie balls before baking)
In a medium bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the oil, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Beat in the flour mixture mixture until well incorporated. Cover and chill the batter until firm (about 2 hours or overnight).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place about 1 cup of turbinado sugar in a medium sized bowl.
When the dough has chilled sufficiently, roll into 1 inch balls. Then roll the balls of dough into the sugar, coating them thoroughly. Place on the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart and, with the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies slightly.
Bake for about 9-10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crinkles yet are barely dry. (They will look a little underdone.) Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.