For centuries Southerners have treasured their jars of molasses—the cooked-down sugar cane mixture that is thick, brown, sticky and sharp with tangy flavor. From the hills of Tennessee to the plains of Georgia, the syrup was a table condiment for drizzling on biscuits and pancakes, or stirring into desserts. Still a treat today, the strong, sweet flavor of molasses balances well with a team of spices in these soft, chewy cookies crusted with sugar.
Oxmoor House OCTOBER 2009
1. Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup granulated sugar, beating well. Add egg and molasses; beat well.
2. Combine flour and next 8 ingredients, stirring well. Add one-fourth of flour mixture at a time to shortening mixture, beating at low speed after each addition until blended. Cover and chill 1 hour.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in sparkling sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake at 375° for 9 to 11 minutes. (Tops will crack.) Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
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