Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TWD: Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

Even though I've been a monumental blog slacker of late (which I am really sorry about, particularly to my friends whose blogs I have not been visiting), I always get as excited as a kid in a candy store when the Tuesdays with Dorie recipes for a new month are announced. It's the promise of a clean slate - the promise of a new month in which I CAN make caramel. I just can't click over to the TWD website fast enough when I see that "new recipes are up!" tweet. And typically, I am affirmatively excited about one or two of the recipes; one or two of them scare the heck out of me (usually custard or caramel-based); and one or two of them fill me with indifference. The Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies, chosen by the fabulous Pamela of Cookies with Boys, fell into my "overwhelmed by indifference" category for November. Other people were really excited about them, but as someone who, when presented with a platter of chocolate chip cookies, lemon cookies, and spice cookies, would ALWAYS choose the spice cookies last, my primary thought was "Good. These won't tempt me and David will eat them."


Well. Then I made them. And realized, after taking one bite of their crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside-perfectly-spiced-subtly molassesy goodness, that these cookies now rank solidly among my top three favorite cookies EVER, right up there with World Peace Cookies and Alton Brown's The Chewy. This, a spice cookie! I don't know if my taste buds have changed (there's been some banter on Twitter that your taste buds die as you get older, and I did just have a birthday) or if I was just young and stupid back in the days when I thought I didn't care much about spice cookies, or if these spice cookies are just particularly amazing, given that they are a Dorie Greenspan recipe and all. I don't know and I don't care. All I know is that I am deep deep deep in Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookie love. If you see me sitting there with sort of a faraway look and a goofy half-grin, you can assume that I'm thinking about the Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies again.

I was a little thrown off kilter by my love for these cookies. I had to scramble to change my plans, because again, I was expecting to be indifferent to these cookies while my husband, he of the superhuman metabolism, ate them all. But after I had one, I knew I had to get some of them out of the house pronto. I needed a worthy recipient, though, someone who would fully appreciate their awesomeness - maybe someone who is eating for two. Yeah, that's it! So I brought some to my 8 months pregnant friend, Amanda. She called me after trying one and said "I am SO glad that you're on a diet." And I replied "I am SO glad that you are not."

Amanda can expect more of these cookies before she has the baby (and some after she has the baby); and I am going to start sharing them with some of my non-pregnant friends, too. If you are likely to receive baked goods from me for Christmas, these will be in the package. Just wanted you to know so you can plan your Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookie needs accordingly. Don't worry, the World Peace Cookies will be in there too.


My only cookie-related disappointment is my pictures of them. I got a fancy new camera for my birthday, and I expected to take it out of the box and instantly start taking beautifully styled, perfectly composed, well-lit pictures (on full auto, of course). Instead, these are even darker than the ones I took with my old point & shoot! I'm taking an Introduction to Digital Photography class starting this week, so maybe that will help. But I'm afraid that there may be inherent talent limitations at work here, and at the end of the day, I suspect that this is just not going to be the place you want to come for pretty pictures. But this IS the place to come for unbridled enthusiasm about Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies!!

Pamela, I loved you before you chose these cookies, and I love you even more now. Thank you for introducing me to a new favorite cookie!

43 comments:

Ivette said...

I think your cookies came out great and its great that you liked them so much. I'm thinking this will be one of my recipes for this month just after the apple crisps. I also think your pictures came out great.. and I found a site that might help you out a bit. Keep practicing and great job!

http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/photography-exposure-basics/

jillbert said...

I wasn't excited about these either, but there was so much enthusiasm from the other bakers that I decided to make them. And I loved them too! Just one of the many fun things about being a TWD member!

Katrina said...

GREAT cookies! (Just a word to the wise, don't put the spice cookies on the same plate with the World Peace or other cookies--the flavors transfer. Mint, too. Don't put mint on the same plate with the spice, not-a-good-taste. I'm just saying.) BUT, I'm thinking of adding these to the lucky Christmas recipients, too, but I'll be putting them in cute bags, separate from the other goodies. And I'll shut up now.
Oh, and glad you're back!

Jessica said...

Woo hoo! I'm so happy to read your blog again. I had a bout of Tortefeasor nostalgia the other night when you tweeted the link to shrimp on the floor. I read that post, and then I just started reading down the page. I spent a good 20 minutes reading your old posts. It was a nice diversion.
It's exciting to read about the Christmas goodies you'll be sending. I mailed the Baked Lemon Lemon Loaf (recipe is on Epicurious) to my parents, and they said that it arrived in good form, so that's another treat that mails well if you're interested.
These cookies look delicious!

Kim said...

I loved these too. My husband and I have polished off a full recipe. These are the perfect holiday cookies.

Flourchild said...

I have missed you. Your blog is so fun to read!
Im happy you liked the Molasses cookies. I made them today and plan to post them next week. This week I made the Holiday bundt cake. It was good but I like the cookies better! I have a molasses cookie recipe I have used for years so I was excited to try a new one.

Megan said...

Well, lookie lookie - Cathy's back! And gushing over something as simple as a spice cookie.

You didn't think I'd let you off the hook so easily, did you? :)

SUGAR B said...

We missed you! :)

Loving your cookies. They look so good!

I can't wait to make these AGAIN!

Steph said...

Cathy, you have no idea how much I missed your posts. You are one of the few people who can make anything funny. I'm so glad you enjoyed these! I never expected to like molasses cookies, but I love them too.

Fancy cameras look so nice, but they are so hard to use! I thought a better camera would make me a better photographer, but I was so wrong. I really need to pick up that manual and start reading about the controls or take a class. Until then I'm sticking with the point and shoot. Plus, there are way less options. I can imagine being one of those people taking a picture at each option to see which is the best version.

dharmagirl said...

i made these last spring and loved them...i promised, er, bribed some students i would bring them to class next week.

i too have been having a hard time keeping up with blogging and commenting...i've missed you, too:)

have fun with your new camera--yay!

Di said...

I often forget how much I love spice cookies. Like you, I usually start with something else, but then I taste one and remember. And these are pretty amazing.

Enjoy your new camera!

Karen said...

I have been surprised by all the people who loved these, too. I had planned to make these this weekend, but after reading this, I've decided to go to the kitchen an churn out a batch right now.
I was thinking the whole time I was reading "somebody got a new camera" and then you confirmed my suspicions!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Yay - you're back!
Lovely cookies - I wish I was your neighbour!

Sarah said...

Your cookies look wonderful! I love it when I am taken completely by surprise by a recipe. I haven't made these yet, but I can't wait because they sound like something I would really love, and they have gotten rave reviews! I just got a dSLR too, and it is definitely taking some figuring out!

LyB said...

I sooooo loved these too! And they are good because they are homemade and fresh. Stale spice cookies are the worst kind of cookie, imho. Camera wise, you should definitely join Flickr, it is such a great place to learn just by looking at other people's pics and by getting feedback. That being said, I think your cookies look fantastic. :)

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I'm glad you're back. And with your unbridled enthusiasm in tow! These were great cookies, whether you make them light and mild or dark and dense. Yum! Lucky Amanda, and lucky you to have a new favorite cookie.

Mary Ann said...

They look great and what a fun thing to do, the photography class, that is. I really want to take one someday.
I was equally surprised by these cookies. I wasn't expecting much, but Wow~ they kinda blew me away.
How nice of you to share. I had to send some to my younger brothers in utah, because I knew they would love them.
Lovely post!

Kayte said...

Word on the streets was that you were back in town playing the game so I had to come check it out for myself. You were missed. Your cookies look amazing and I'm with you, I ate too many of these for sure. I should probably lose the recipe, but Matt won't hear of it. Can't wait to see the results of what you learn at photography class!

Kayte said...

Word on the streets was that you were back in town playing the game so I had to come check it out for myself. You were missed. Your cookies look amazing and I'm with you, I ate too many of these for sure. I should probably lose the recipe, but Matt won't hear of it. Can't wait to see the results of what you learn at photography class!

Amanda said...

They were FABULOUS and I really really appreciate you sharing them with me!!! I will have to make some for Christmas. And, I think your pictures are great! They don't look dark at all on my computer....

Leslie said...

I'm so glad you're back! Your post got me started on making these cookies today since I was underwhelmed when they were announced and was only going to make them because Pamela chose them. They were fabulous, weren't they? I made the chestnut cake this week and it was, oh, quite a lot more effort.

Debinhawaii said...

Happy to see you back and I think your pictures look great.

Hard to go wrong with delicious-looking cookies!

Girl Japan: April Marie said...

So nice to see a post from you... I was wondering where have you been? What a perfect cookie though... just right for this time of year..

I wanted to let you know I will be moving soon, and changing my blog, I have a few jealous.. I guess.. (can't figure out what other reason) hater (I think I know who it is) but got so bad I may have to change my domain and move my blog...

I'll send you an e-mail or come here to give you the new addy = )

spike. said...

I just made half the dough and then couldn't even wait 24 hours before defrosting and baking up the rest! so good!

pinkstripes said...

Welcome back to blogging! Your cookies look great and I think you are too hard on yourself for your pictures. I especially like the top one.

Bridgett said...

Yay! I am so glad to see you back to blogging and look forward to seeing what else you come up with. Your photos turned out beautifully! These cookies would be a huge hit in my house, especially with my husband. I will have to give these a go.

Janet said...

Yay, Cathy, you're back! I missed your voice!

TeaLady said...

I am SO glad you are back in the blog world. Missed your posts.

Isn't it great when something surprises you in a postive way - like these cookies. they look great despite your complaints about the quality of the pic.

good luck with your photo class. You can teach us a thing or two.

easy recipes said...

It look great, I love cookies.

bakingwiththeboys said...

It's good to have you back. I hope your break was nothing more than a much needed respite from baking and browsing. I made these for the Pinewood Derby (you know what I am talking about) last week. YUM.

AmyRuth said...

I love the cookies Pamela chose as well. So exciting to be surprised into liking a new one, huh?
Maybe you just think you've taken a break but I know the real truth; you have been a baking maniac. Right?
hehe
AmyRuth

Pamela said...

Oh, Cathy! I'm so sorry I'm so late in getting over here to comment. I'm trying to stop by everyone's blog, and it's taking me some time. I loved this cookie, too!! I will be making them for Christmas, too. So good! Thanks for baking with me, my friend! And thanks for the very sweet words!

myfamousrecipe said...

I had exactly the same experience. Spice cookies? Eh. But these are amazing, now one of my all-time favorite cookies. Great idea to give these away for the holidays. I know you're not looking for any more reasons to eat these, but I have to say they're even better with a bit of cinnamon ice cream!

Prudy said...

Glad you're back; you've been missed!

mike said...

True... yet another molasses cookie (yawn).. people loved these, including myself! How exciting for you to have a new camera... I can't wait to see the photos. Point and shoot - I'm in the same boat... I'd love a SLR, but someday.... so glad you like these cookies - that's the most wonderful thing about this club is the discovery of the new and wonderful - out of something that seems so ordinary.

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