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La Belle Cuisine - More Cookie Recipes

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Ruth Moulton's Spice Balls

 

 

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Ruth Moulton’s Spice Balls

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Sara Moulton
Cooks at Home
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by Sara Moulton, 2002,
Broadway Books

 “My sister Anne is the baker in our family. Even now, as a doctor at a busy hospital, the mother of two kids, the wife of a doctor husband, and the owner
of a generally hectic life, she’ll take time out every so often to make that deli-
cious Fanny Farmer pound cake or whip up a batch of wonderfully crisp Toll House cookies. (Her trick? Cut back on the flour and flatten out the cookies by
banging the sheet pan on the oven shelf when they are halfway done. Flattened
out, the cookies have more surface area and bake up nice and crispy.)
Like me, Anne was introduced to baking as a kid by our grandmother Ruth. Together we made bread from scratch, zillions of cookies and all kinds of pies.
(It was Granny who turned us on to the joys of pie for breakfast!) A generation
later Anne has passed on these skills to her kids, Peter and Katie.
This recipe is one of Anne’s favorites. To begin with, the dough freezes very
well. Unfreeze it and bake your cookies whenever you like. Like chewy gin-
gerbread without all the ginger, they are a special treat at holiday time and
comfort food any time.
Please note: Even though these are called spice ‘balls’ they end up flat
after baking.”

Makes about 48 small cookies

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks)
unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Combine the butter and 1 cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and molasses.
Sift the flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt together
onto a piece of parchment. Add to the butter mixture in 2 batches, beating
just until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in
a pie plate. Shape the dough into walnut-size balls and roll in the sugar
to coat. Arrange 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets and bake until
cracked and dry but still soft, about 10 minutes.
Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cool on
wire racks.

**Spraying measuring cups: Anytime you are measuring something sticky
like peanut butter or molasses, spray the measuring cup first with nonstick
vegetable oil spray. The peanut butter will slip right out.**

 

Featured Archive Recipes:
Craig Claiborne's Cardamom Cookies
German Spice Icebox Cookies
Maida Heatter's Pfeffernuesse
Speculaas (Dutch Spice Cookies)
 

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