Molasses Cookies To Celebrate One of the Oddest Historical Events Ever
The book club met yesterday. We had an unbelievably fabulous time as usual. I made these cookies to celebrate an event in Boston’s history that also played a roll in the book that we just finished. You should have smelled them baking, it was incredible the smell was glorious.
The book we read was The Birth House by Ami Mckay. We had another book previously planned. Then Texas, got it’s crazy anti woman abusive thing on. And we opted to switch out the planned book for The Birth House. The fact is, this Texas law is not the first bit of insanity to ever become a historical event. in 1919 in Boston, we had our own brand of nuttery. We had a molasses factory that had a massive towering tankard of hot molasses. It was located in The North End. Evidently it exploded shooting the nails in it’s sides and it’s metal bits outward spraying them into the throngs of people like bullets. While the molasses it’s self rolled through the streets of The North End, like some kind of 35 foot high tidal wave of hot gooey sweetness. A number of people died in the event. The clean up was long and arduous. Whole houses were carried away on a wave of molasses and many more were laid to ruin. They tried to blame Italian immigrants, but that failed, because they were not the least bit responsible for the event. Some years later the molasses company was made to pay a fortune in damages due to the poorly built structure they had filled with molasses, due to being poorly made it exploded. This is known as a foot note in Boston’s history, “the great molasses flood.” Today all that remains of this horrific event, is a plaque located in the north end, and even to this day… On the hottest summer days, if you stand in the affected area you can smell the molasses. The smell is fainter now than it once was. But it is still there…
This terrible event made it into the book club’s last book. So I thought, some molasses cookies would be just the thing. These are soft baked, absolutely delicious.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 ths teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 th teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4th teaspoon ground clove
1/4th teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4ths teaspoon himalayan pink salt.
3/4ths cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
3/4ths cup maple sugar
1 3/4ths teaspoons baking soda
1/8th teaspoon baking powder
1/4th cup dark molasses
1 egg (or the equivalent with egg substitute.)
1 and 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
More sugar for rolling.
In a large bowl mix the wet ingredients together. Add the sugar and cream it in with the wet ingredients. Gradually mix in the flour and other dry ingredients. Put it into the refrigerator over night. In the morning, pre heat the oven to 350. Next prepare your baking sheets, put down some baking paper, or use butter to ensure the cookies won’t stick. Get the dough from the fridge and roll into small balls that you then roll in sugar till they are completely covered. Place each ball on your baking sheets about 3 or so inches apart. Bake for about 11 or 12 minutes. Check at about the 3/4 mark and if they have not begun cracking on top remove the baking sheets bang them carefully on the counter and return them to the oven. This action helps them spread and crack so that they bake better. Once done baking, allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheets to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then enjoy them.
It really was a pleasure to bake these cookies after a long week of farming “troubles.” The goats, who are constantly plotting against me and their fence, finally made their move. I woke up most mornings to 3 goats on the lawn shouting “baaaattica! Baaaaattica!” as they ate the remaining kale right out of the garden. They took out a lot of the remaining gardens much to my horror… It took us days to figure out how they were getting out. I owe the dogs a great deal for their efforts at helping me herd the felon goats back into Goatcatraz goat prison. Or as some call it, Goatkaban, or as the goats themselves call it, “baaaaaattica!” So on sunday, to finally get to take a break from the furry horned inmates to enjoy a nice book discussion and some delicious cookies, with fabulous company…. Well, it was just what I needed.
It has been a long few days…
Thanx for reading
Amanda of Wildflower Farm