We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Book Review (for a cookie recipe!)


yes indeed … for a cookie recipe. That’s because I can’t tell you about Eminent Victorians until I tell you about the spice cookies you might want to consider eating while you’re reading this wonderful book. In a moment, I’ll be putting one on a plate, taking my tea and book and sitting by the fire to finish up.

For those who aren’t cookie-makers, take heart — there’s nothing hard about these cookies. They’re easy to make and their texture is wonderfully yielding. And I will not go further down this descriptive road because it’s starting to sound a little too racy for a blog post about cookies. (The recipe comes from Sunset magazine — an unpretentious source for some very nice food.)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling the cookies in)
  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg (also at room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, ground cloves, and nutmeg

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup granulated sugar with butter until light and fluffy (about three minutes). Mix in egg and molasses.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and spices. Add to butter mixture and blend well.

3. Fill a shallow bowl with granulated sugar. Break off walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll into balls; roll the balls in the sugar. Arrange on greased cookie sheets and bake until golden brown, about ten minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

4. Make the glaze: Combine powdered sugar with water and stir until smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over cookies.

And there you have it:  the easiest and most delicious spice cookies I know of.


24 thoughts on “We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Book Review (for a cookie recipe!)

  1. Those sound GOOD!

    I once thought one could write a novel with recipes interspersed as emotional commentary. Since I am not a fiction writer and only intermittantly a cook it was never more than a good idea, but if you have pictures to illustrate books, why not recipes?

    I’ll try those.


  2. Well, Smokey, what are you waiting for? With the exception of molasses, you’ve probably got everything you need in your kitchen already!

    Hi Charlotte, MMM. I love gingerbread. Especially with whipped cream.

    Aphra, I think that’s a wonderful idea. You could do it on a blog, even. Book review accompanied by a little photo of whatever best worked with the thing you read, sort of the way you get wine suggestions on some menus.

    For some reason, Carl, I KNEW you would be a cookie eater.

    Hi litlove, I know you bake but don’t eat, but they have the most wonderful smell, and it’s nice to see other people gobble them up.

    ToBeMe– You’re very welcome. Don’t forget the tea/hot chocolate!

  3. It is my considered opinion that if it is a homemade cookie, it ipso facto is Christmassy just by its very existence. Those look wonderful.

    Would you all just stop, though? First I was a charlotteotter’s blog, and now here — all it is is cookies and chocolate and I am TRYING to lose weight here, dog gone it.

  4. Sunset has the best recipes, don’t they? I usually buy their Thanksgiving issues.

    Thanks for this. I will definitely make a batch before reading the EVs.

  5. Wah, please don’t show me delicious cookies and tell me how to make them. I will be forced to do so and then eat them!!

    I love the festive napkin, by the way. That is a yummy photo.

  6. I’ve just made them! A raging success in the biscuit department, thanks to you, BlogLily. Mine turned out quite brown, a little chewy on the inside, a little crunchy on the outside. For the first time ever I made decent glaze (by following your instructions exactly) and it drizzled wonderfully. I reserved half the dough for the cookie cutters and now we have spice biscuit crowns, Christmas trees, angels, stars and moons.

    For English readers, these taste a lot like Gingernuts, but with a heady undertang of molasses. Yum.

  7. Hello Charlotte, I’m sitting at our kitchen table staring at the 80 million of these I made last night to take to a work meeting today. I wish I’d thought to cut them into shapes! I’m so glad things worked out with them.

    Oh Helen, My heart goes out to you… a little. I love those napkins. Believe it or not they also come in the form of kleenex, which makes me laugh.

    Susan — Congratulations on that novel! I’ve been following along but my hands are so sticky from all the dough (okay, okay, I’m so stunned from eating so many cookies) that I haven’t had a chance to say so directly.

    I’d love to know how things turn out Eoin, if you do get to cookie baking. But even if you don’t, the image of you pulling a pan of beautifully made cookies out of the oven is more than enough.

    My goodness Giniann, I can’t imagine you being intimidated by any type of cooking, not with that beautiful blog full of lovely Indian food. It’s interesting, isn’t it, what we feel at ease whipping up in our kitchens and what makes us a little nervous? My blind spots have to do with anything you’ve got to simmer on the stove until it changes consistency — I always think I’ll miss the magical moment and then take the pot off and realize I’ve got something that has failed to do what it’s supposed to do because I acted too soon.

    Kristen — I loved snickerdoodles when I was a kid. There’s something about cinammon sugar that makes anything hard to resist. Maybe I should try sprinkling cinammon sugar on my query letters (when I start sending them out, I mean).

    It’s very nice to see you here Q. And three times! I’m glad you like the picture. I like having visuals of the things I hear about. So, I just point my camera and snap, and sometimes things are clear and sometimes they’re not. It’s a little bit like writing blog posts and comments.

    You’re right, LK. One of my favorite cakes comes from Sunset. They seem to be interested in clarity, and ease, and lots & lots of butter. I’ll look for the Thanksgiving issue.

    HMH, That’s my almost last food thing for a while. On to books!

  8. I have stored the recipe and collected the ingredients. As I will be completely isolated for Christmas this year I shall bake these on Christmas Eve. Maybe I will hold my cinnamon cravings at bay until Christmas Day.

  9. Q — thank you. I like holiday napkins!

    Charlotte, thanks for making that warning so very clear.

    Hello Archie — There are many lovely things that can make a completely isolated Christmas feel like the best thing ever. And food prepared just to your tastes is certainly one of them.

    Hello Princess, I’ve been reading about that lovely cafeteria you get to use in Brussels and I have to say I’d trade a cookie or two for a meal there.

  10. Pingback: What Cooking Means to Me « Charlotte’s Web

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