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Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Molasses Cookies...

12:00 pm - 14 degrees - windy and snowing with a wind chill of 6 degrees...

This is the perfect holiday cookie!  There’s something about ginger, cloves and cinnamon that makes me think it’s Christmas!  Just the aroma of these baking in the oven brings back lots of happy holiday memories!

~Molasses Cookies~
1 egg (room temperature)
3/4 cup butter or ¾ cup shortening plus 3 teaspoons water*
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter (or shortening).  Add egg and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the molasses and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.  Stir together.  Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.

Chill the dough for several hours.  {Note:  Most molasses cookie recipes say to chill the dough, but I never do and the cookies still turn out great!  So I personally think this step is optional.}

After the dough has chilled (or not, in my case), roll the dough into 1” balls and then roll the balls in sugar.  Place the balls of dough onto an ungreased parchment lined baking sheet 2” apart (they will spread).

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Do not allow the cookies to brown or they will become hard!  Allow the cookies to remain on the baking sheet for 2 minutes after removing from the oven.  Then transfer cookies from the baking sheet onto wire racks to cool.   Yields:  2
dozen cookies

~ Enjoy!
*P.S. Here’s a side note on Butter VS Shortening in baking...  In general, you can substitute shortening for butter in equal amounts in baking recipes (not the frosting or icing, though – yuck!).  Shortening yields higher, lighter-textured baked goods, which is sometimes preferable to butter (depending on what you’re making).

Butter naturally has some water in it; shortening doesn’t.  Cookies made with shortening and no extra water added, for example, are higher and lighter, while butter cookies are flatter and crispier.  This is because butter has a lower melting point than shortening, causing them to spread faster and more in the short time it takes to bake a cookie.  If you use shortening, but want an effect closer to butter, add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons water for every ¼ cup of shortening.

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