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Holiday Cooking: Cookie Recipes – Molasses Ginger and Cottage Cheese Chocolate Crinkles

November 27th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Across the Americas and Europe, baking sweet treats for Christmas is a tradition. Most of the cookies we Americans make are variations on cookies handed down through the decades, adapted to today’s ovens and technology, and ingredients.

Everyone seems to have a story to go with the recipes, too – these are among my favorite things. I’ll be featuring cookie recipes till Christmas – share yours!

Ginger molasses cookies from Montana cousin

These big, soft cookies come from my Pensacola cousin Joan Hatler’s recipe file. They were given to her by her mother-in-law, Fran Hatler, who made them for her two sons and two daughters growing up in Havre, Montana.

“We didn’t have much coming up,” said Larry Hatler, Joan’s spouse. “It was a little town on the prairie. You farmed or you worked the railroad – that’s what my dad did.”

Wheat and dairy farms and cattle ranching are big in this area, 30 miles south of the Alberta, Canada, border. The Rockies stand tall in the distance, but it’s flat and dry in and around Havre. “We didn’t cut any Christmas trees – there were none to cut,” Larry said. “A few cottonwoods here and there – but otherwise, there weren’t many trees around.”

Most Christmases were white – and bitter cold. “We ice skated — a lot,” he said. On a recent visit back at Christmastime, the deep snow prompted a sleigh ride in a horse-drawn sleigh. The riders carolled their way through the town, “We were bundled to the teeth,” Joan recalls. “It was so cold, but it really was special.”

Fran Hatler was frugal with food, Joan says. “It was how they grew up – every last morsel of leftovers was eaten or reused. But she always baked for Larry when we would go back. She had cookies made, frozen ahead of time, when we got there.”

Fran Hatler’s Ginger Molasses Cookies

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • granulated sugar for dipping

Cream the shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl, first at medium then gradually to high speed. Add beaten egg, then molasses. Sift remaining ingredients (except granulated sugar) together into a small bowl; gradually add to wet mixture on medium speed. Mix on medium speed until combined, scraping sides frequently.

Form dough into 2-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheet spaced 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes; cookies should be still soft, but cooked through.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Dough and cookies freeze well.

Chocolate krinkle cookies

Joan also shared with me the following recipe for Chocolate Crinkle cookies – the secret ingredient is cottage cheese – you won’t know it’s there, however, so if you are not a cottage cheese fan, no worries.

These originated from Anita Powers, friend of a friend, who was entering them in the California State Fair. We don’t know whether she won – but she shared the extra cookies with Joan and her friends – and all agreed they should win.

These are soft, crack open as they bake and form the telltale white crevasses filled with powdered sugar that give them their name — so moist – and so unusual. Great for packing, too.

Cottage Cheese Crinkle Cookies

  • 1-1/3 cup shortening
  • 3-1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 5-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • powdered sugar, for rolling out cookies

Use a wooden spoon and large mixing bowl to combine shortening, sugar and eggs, beating till creamy. Sift together baking powder, cocoa, baking soda, salt and flour. Add flour mixture in thirds to bowl, beating with spoon till combined. Add cottage cheese and vanilla, mixing well. Stir in walnuts.
Chill mixture for 2 hours or overnight. Roll 1 teaspoon of dough into a ball, then roll in powdered sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies will crack; they should be removed while on the soft side of done. Remove to a rack to cool; cookies will fall slightly.

Makes 10 to 12 dozen cookies. Dough and cookies freeze well.

Both cookies above can be made by kids!

Tags: Baking: Cheap therapy · Holiday cooking · Kids' Cooking · Your Recipes and Lost and Found

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  • 1 Crinkles holiday | Fotofill // Nov 2, 2011 at 11:59 am

    […] Holiday Cooking: Cookie Recipes – Molasses Ginger and Cottage …Nov 27, 2010 … cookie making 500×350 Holiday Cooking: Cookie Recipes Molasses Ginger and Cottage Cheese Chocolate Crinkles. Across the Americas … […]

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