Thursday, September 5, 2013

Molasses Sugar Cookies from Lucy Burdette's An Appetite for Murder

Lucy Burdette: When an author is invited to a book talk, we never quite know what we'll find. Big crowd? Little crowd? Books flying off the shelves? No sales? Most of us have had all those experiences...I've found the best approach is to keep expectations on the low side and bring a cheerful attitude. Because as my pal Hank Ryan always says, you never know what might lead to what...

So when the Goshen Library up in northwestern Connecticut invited me to judge a cookie-tasting and then talk about the food critic series, I gladly went. And happy to report, I had a blast! Three hardy souls had used the molasses cookie recipe from AN APPETITE FOR MURDER to make cookies. Two lovely ladies who frequent the library helped me judge--things like, color, texture, crumbles in your mouth...and we needed more than one bite of each to be sure we were being accurate! This was not as easy as it looked, because all three versions were delicious.

Here's Suzanne with her winning cookie--which by the way had the most intense molasses flavor.

After the judging, we all enjoyed cookies and coffee and talked about the Key West mysteries. Honestly there's nothing more fun than chatting with readers who've read your books! For your sampling pleasure, here is the recipe:

Molasses Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Sugar for rolling

Melt butter over low heat. Cool, add sugar, molasses, and egg. Beat well. Sift together flour, soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and salt, add to first mixture. Mix well and chill. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in sugar. Place on a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake at 375 for eight to ten minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

And on the way home, one of my new friends led me to Milk House Chocolates at Thorncrest Farm. All the chocolates are made from milk from the cows right on the farm. My favorite was the milk chocolate with caramel inside and sea salt on top.  To Die For....

LUCY BURDETTE is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. You are invited to follow her on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and TWITTER


  1. Lovely group of people there! I judged an apple muffin contest at the library a couple of months ago.

    I attived too late to visit the chocolate place, although I drove past it, but I did go hog-wild (pun intended) at Nodine's Smokehouse Gourmet Store across the street from the library

    1. I didn't even know about nodine's smokehouse--darn! but now I'm signed up for a cheese-making class at the chocolate shop:). Can't wait!

  2. What an interesting variety in the cookies, from light to dark. Was it the type of molasses used?
    Sounds like a fun time.
    As to the chocolate--I'd go for dark chocolate with the caramel. Irresistible!

    1. Hey Libby, all the bakers were not there so I didn't get the dope on what made the difference. I'm pretty sure it had to do with type of molasses and light or dark brown sugar.

      Though on another note, I tried Cleo's peanut butter cookies this week. They did NOT look like hers, but they were delish! I used organic hand ground pb, so that probably changed texture.

      And--I tried the dark chocolate with caramel--that was wonderful too!

    2. Oh, for sure, the peanut butter you use will have an impact on the texture. The way I look at it: The cookie itself is a coffee-break indulgence (bread and roses, you know, I eat healthy but I like my treats, too)! So when I make it, I use the best butter (usually Irish), brown sugar, and creamy peanut butter!

  3. I haven't had molasses cookies since I was a child. Sugar was rationed and we had molasses cookies, molasses pies, etc. Perhaps it's time to give them another try. These sound delicious. They remind me of a laid-back gingersnap, but without the ill-tempered crumbs falling down your blouse. Also there's that half bottle of B'rer Rabbit Molasses sitting in your cabinet looking miserable for 3 years.

    1. Oh funny Ellicia, that molasses does sit around for a while! although there's a wonderful gingerbread recipe in THE ENCHANTED BROCCOLI FOREST that could use some up.

      And funnily enough, I never did like gingersnaps, but these I'm crazy for...

  4. Ahem, the next time you go on a cookie and chocolates outing, I want to come along! What fun! I love that they baked your cookies and that you were a cookie judge. What a great idea. And those chocolates! I'm swooning!


    1. I know Krista, I really love book events, but this one was special.

      And I would love your company on any and all outings!

  5. Interesting, Lucy/Roberta. I'm curious about the different colors. Do you think it's because they were baked longer, shorter, etc? Love almost anything with molasses. And chocolate with salt? Are those available online? Yum!

    Daryl /Avery

    1. Could have been baking time, also type of molasses and sugar.

      Here's the link for ordering Milk House chocolates, though you could be sorry you asked:

  6. I'll take the cookies, and the chocolate!

  7. What a tasty post, Lucy/Roberta! Wonderful cookies and chocolate and a library!

    Thank you!