Then, I went and made them better. I threw in some homemade apple cider syrup and it got ridiculous how good they were. It was just plain wrong to keep them to myself.
So I put them on the menu over at Mom in the Mail as a seasonal special, secretly hoping that no one would notice them in the midst of the adorable apple pies.
But maybe, just maybe, I could have kept the lid on 'em.
Until the burnt sugar bits went in and it officially became a crime for these not to be famous. Kind of like when that indy singer who's been playing for years at the bar down the street hooks up with Disclosure and suddenly becomes Sam Smith.
If you make them, you'll have to spread the word, too. They truly deserve their shot at the big time.
Apple Cider Molasses Cookies with Burnt Sugar Bits
Prep Time: About an hour if you make the cider syrup and sugar bits, 10 minutes if you don't.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 2/3 c. vegetable oil
- 1/4 c. regular and/or apple cider molasses (See Note 1, below)
- 1 egg
- 1 c. sugar, plus extra for rolling cookies
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 c. burnt sugar bits, optional (See Note 2, below)
Preheat your oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with a Silpat.*****
Whisk oil, molasses, egg and sugar together in large mixing bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients (flour through salt), and then the burnt sugar bits, if using. Trust me, you want to use them. The dough will be a bit softer than standard cookies and a little shiny.
Fill a small bowl with some extra sugar. Using your hands, form balls about an inch and a half around and roll in the sugar. Place cookies a couple of inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies have spread, crackled and the edges are just beginning to crisp up.
Cool completely and serve, or store in an airtight container for up to a week. The cookies are incredible the day they are baked, and even more wonderful the next day. They also travel really well, which is a plus because I hear that touring is a big part of being famous these days.
Note 1: To make apple cider molasses, boil a quart of fresh apple cider over medium high in a 3-4 quart saucepan until it is reduced to about 1/2 c. with a consistency right in between maple syrup and molasses. This should take about 35-45 minutes, depending on your stove. I now make a container of this as soon as cider shows up in the market and savor every bit, not just in these cookies, but in this recipe, poured over apple pie, stirred into cocktails, or straight from a spoon.
Note 2: To make the burnt sugar bits, spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside. Place 1/3 c. sugar in a small pan and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, over medium high heat until sugar has melted completely and turns golden brown. The process should take about 5 minutes. Be sure to watch carefully so the sugar does not actually burn. Pour the melted sugar onto the baking sheet and tilt so that the liquid spreads out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cool to room temperature, then break into smaller pieces for the cookies. Repurposed from these also-very-delicious sable cookies.
** See prior footnote.
*** My mailbox also hosted three other deserving contenders for cookie fame.
Lemon-Rosemary Sugar Cookies from Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe
Orange-Scented Madelines from Melissa at Freshly Baked Sweets
Peppermint Shortbread from Natalie of In Natalies Shoes
To see more of the bounty that was flying around to mailboxes this month, check out #fbcookieswap on Instagram.
**** As do a whole pile of folks from Food Bloggers Los Angeles. These made an appearance at our annual holiday gathering and they brought down the house. It was a particularly notable feat because there were so many good cookies. A crying shame I missed this last year.
A sampler plate from the FBLA Holiday Cookie exchange. A word to the wise: We are professionals. Do not try this at home.
***** Huge thanks to Dixie Crystals for sending all the GFBCS participants a brand new silicon baking mat, which I will use all the time, to OXO for the super cool measuring cups and Land O' Lakes for the FREE BUTTER. Do these guys know their audience or what?