Snappy Molasses Cookies

I am a cookie girl, there is no doubt about it, but over the years I grew tired of using margarine and shortening to create that perfect cookie sans butter.  So, with some depression-era cookie recipes as my guide, I began experimenting with what I call “pantry” cookies.  These days, our favorite chocolate chip cookies (published in the guide and cookbook Go Dairy Free) are in fact made with oil; one version I make with eggs and one without, both are equally adored by adults and scarfed up in minutes by little ones.

But one can not live on chocolate chip cookies alone.  My most recent experiment was with molasses cookies.  They almost always call for butter or shortening, but I found one popular recipe on allrecipes.com which used oil as the base.  To my disappointment, these came out more like gingersnaps than thick and chewy molasses cookies. Yet, after I got over my initial upset, I settled into these snappy cookies, enjoying them for almond milk dunking and with my afternoon tea.

Snappy Molasses Cookies

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg or 1 Ener-G “Egg” for egg-free
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon groun nutmeg
1/3 cup white sugar (for rolling)

Preheat your oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil and sugars. Beat in the egg, molasses, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together 2 1/4 cups of the flour, baking soda, and spices. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture in your large mixing bowl until fully incorporated.  If the dough isn’t firm or seems too greasy, add a little extra flour. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, roll them in the 1/3 cup sugar and place them a few inches apart on baking sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove them to a wire wrack or wax paper to cool.

Note: I live in a very dry climate, so yours may stay chewier if properly stored.

Yields about 3 dozen cookies