These cookies are great for Yule gatherings. For me, it just wouldn’t be winter without the scent of freshly baked gingerbread.
Details About Molasses
Molasses is ruled by Scorpio and Mars. Molasses makes a great scrying liquid too. It’s dark and shiny surface makes it easy to read. Molasses is also commonly used in love and attraction spells.
Molasses is said to encourage a good work ethic and to bring about strength.
Molasses comes in a few different forms that you may see on the grocery shelf. Molasses is a by product of the sugar making process.
The different types or “grades” of molasses are determined by how long it boils. They are as follows:
- Light molasses is produced after the first boiling of the sugar cane or sugar beet. It is light in color and sweet in taste because only a small amount of sugar has been extracted. Light molasses is also known as “sweet,” “Barbados,” “first” or “mild” molasses. This type of molasses is commonly used as an ingredient in baking, marinades, rubs and sauces, or even as a topping on toast or oatmeal. When added to baking recipes, it can make cookies softer or breads crustier, according to recipetips.com. Dark molasses, also known as “full” or “second” molasses and results from the second boiling in which more sugar is extracted. It is darker in color, thicker and less sweet. It is the ingredient commonly used in gingerbread cookies.
- Blackstrap molasses is the syrup produced after the third boiling. It is very thick and dark in color. It is also bitter in taste. Due to its bitter taste, it should not be used as a substitute in recipes that call for molasses. Blackstrap molasses is the version of molasses that is supposed to have the most health benefits. It can be found in many health food stores. Blackstrap molasses contains the highest vitamin and mineral content of all the types of molasses since it has been concentrated the most by the three boilings. It is a good source of iron. According to the American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide, 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 3.5 milligrams of iron. It also contains several other minerals and vitamins such as calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, selenium, potassium, vitamin B6 and niacin.
- Fancy molasses is sweet. It is commonly used as a topping for pancakes or biscuits. It’s condensed from the pure juice of the sugar cane resulting in the lightest and sweetest type molasses.
- Cooking molasses is a blend of fancy molasses and blackstrap molasses. When used in recipes, it results in baked goods that are less sweet but with more molasses flavor than using fancy molasses alone.
Molasses can also be made from products other than sugar cane and sugar beets. Pomegranate, sorghum, carob and dates are all used to produce molasses, especially for Middle Eastern cuisine.
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
(This is the gingerbread my mother always made growing up and still makes to this day!)
1 cup Crisco shortening (do not substitute)
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup water
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
Cream the shortening, brown sugar, molasses and water together thoroughly. Combine the remaining 6 dry ingredients. Stir into creamed mixture gradually. Mix well, then work with hands to form smooth dough. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours for easier rolling and cutting. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll dough ¼ inch thick and cut out whatever shapes you want. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool and decorate. I like to use royal icing to decorate my cookies.
I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as my family does.