Nutty Molasses Cookies

January 30th, 2010 at 12:12 am
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If you’ve been around here for a while, you probably know a few things about me by now. You know that I love to cook, that’s an obvious one. You know that I not only love to cook, but that I love to cook for others and share my love through food. You know that I embrace healthy eating and feature recipes chock full of all the healthy stuff like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.

You know that I have a sweet tooth and that I often satisfy it with handfuls of dates and figs or any creation that I can make with them. You know that I spend the occasional sleepless night thinking up new recipes and dreaming of old favorites. You know that when it comes to comfort foods, nothing warms me up quite like a steaming bowl of stew.

But here’s something you might not know about me: no food or ingredient or recipe—not even the finest, tastiest bowl of steaming stew—quite satisfies my soul like a good book.

I’ll admit it. The past few days I’ve done nothing but rush through my morning routine, hurry through lunch, hastily work through the afternoon, and then throw together a quick dinner all for one purpose: to get to the evening. Because it is in the evening, after the kitchen is cleaned up and the lights are dimmed and the dishwasher is humming it’s gentle lullaby, that I can curl up on the sofa with my favorite blanket and a pile of books. The long day is over. The night has come. And I can indulge in my deepest craving: my craving for words.

I drove to the library last week planning to pick-up a hold that was ready. Nearly an hour later, I returned home with a stack of novels taller than a two-year-old (I might be exaggerating just a smidge) and an eagerness to delve into each one. Some have been disappointing, others just average. I haven’t come across one yet in the pile that’s really blown me away. But with every page I turn, every chapter I finish, I’m holding out hope that sooner or later that glittering gem of a book will emerge from the stack and prove to me that the long wait was worth it.

So what does all this chatter on books have to do with a cookie recipe? Here’s the thing: when it’s single digits outside and you’re nestled up in cozy comfort by the fire in the middle of chapter twelve, you just start craving cookies. It’s almost a guarantee. Especially after dinner when that pesky sweet tooth comes calling.

That’s why I fiddled around in the kitchen this afternoon trying to nail down a tasty molasses cookie recipe. So that tonight, when I find myself winding down for the evening with a book or two in hand, I can tiptoe into the kitchen and grab a little treat to nibble on right when I need it most.

These cookies are small and barely sweet, which is just the way I like them. But if you prefer a sweeter cookie, feel free to try bumping up the honey or adding extra dates. I love the flavors of ginger and cinnamon together, although adding some other spices like nutmeg or cloves might be a tasty twist on these cookies as well.

Molasses cookies remind me a bit of the holidays, but I’m beginning to believe that the spicy flavor of these can easily satisfy a sweet tooth all winter long—not just at Christmas. I plan to enjoy these cookies throughout the upcoming weekend as I read my way through the late afternoon and evening hours. Bite by bite, chapter by chapter, page by page.

Nutty Molasses CookiesMakes 1 dozen

1 1/2 cups almond meal/flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)

Pinch of salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tbs. molasses

2 tbs. honey

2 dates, pitted and roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Combine almond meal, salt, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, combine coconut oil, molasses, honey, and dates. Process until dates are pasted and mixture is thick and syrupy. Add to the dry ingredients. Stir at first with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Then knead the mixture with your hands to form a thick and cohesive dough.

Divide dough in half. Divide each half in half, so that you end up with four dough mounds of equal size. Out of each quarter of dough form three equal sized balls. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Using the tines of a fork, flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until just beginning to firm up. Cool completely before serving.

This post is linked up to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays.

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.