If ever there was a day that you and I needed a little something easy yet incredibly delicious to bake, it's the day after Christmas. You may be stumbling into the kitchen this morning and brewing a pot of coffee or a cup of tea while you have a sink filled with yesterday's dishes staring you in the face. No matter. Dishes: we'll get to you in a bit. We've got some yummy Saturday Snacks business to attend to first.
This week has been a cookie week for the ages. Gideon's Bakehouse (local small business turned acclaimed cookie BOSS) opened it's new flagship location in Disney Springs, and, as you might imagine, it was my mission to get my hands on some of those 1/2 pounds goodies. Craig and I shot a Disney Dining Show Quick Take of our experience at Gideon's on the first morning of their soft opening. Click here for my article containing my thoughts about the shop and four of its cookies. Suffice it to say, I can't wait to go back.
Over the years, cookies have played an increasingly big part in my holiday experience. My mom-in-law makes a mean cookie, and one of my very favorite things to do is eat any cookie that she bakes up at Christmas. My very favorite cookie that she's made over the years is of the molasses variety. The bite of the molasses and ginger mixed with the sugary exterior? Yes, please. I'll take three.
So, needless to say, when Disney recently released the recipe for Wilderness Lodge's Molasses Crackle Cookie, my interest was peaked. And, if we're doing anything in the kitchen on the day after a holiday, we're looking for a recipe that pulls its ingredients from items that we already have in the pantry and fridge. We'd like to stay in our jammies for as long as possible today, thanks.
I had a fresh jar of molasses on hand from our recent try at making the Animal Kingdom's Gingerbread-Cream Cheese Muffins. The recipe comes together easily, using minimal kitchen items, and the payoff is big. If you're looking for a great non-chocolate chip cookie, your search is over. Look no further.
Our first step is to line a baking pan or two with parchment paper. This is also the moment to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or your favorite large bowl and using a hand mixer), pour 1 cup of canola oil. To that oil, add 1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar. Get that mixer going and cream the canola oil and sugar.
Take a peek at how different the creamed mixture appears when you're using oil instead of butter. It'll look a tad strange, but never fear; it's right where you want it to be.
Once the oil and sugar are combined, add in 1/3 cup of molasses and 1 egg, and mix to combine.
See how easy this recipe is? In just a couple of steps, we're halfway to having the yummiest cookies in our hot little hands.
We'll turn our attention to the dry ingredients by grabbing a large bowl out of the cabinet and tossing in 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves. And savor the smells of winter/holidays/it's-chilly-outside-but-warm-inside spices emanating from that bowl. Ahhh...thank you, spices. We love you.
Give the dry ingredients a swish with a whisk to make sure that all of those spices are thoroughly combined with the flour.
The recipe asks that we now combine the wet ingredients with the dry. You and I both know that we should add the dry ingredients very judiciously. It's the day after Christmas, and we don't need any additional messes to clean up, right? I added the dry to the wet about half a cup at a time, and then started the mixer up to combine. Keep doing this until all of the flour mixture has been mixed in.
Friends, this is the moment where angels sing. Look at that lovely dough. This is an instance where you can smell something just by looking at a picture. Easy peasy and bigggg payoff. Just what we need during the holidays!
The recipe now asks that we take a #12 ice cream scoop out of that drawer that holds just about all of the random kitchen utensils that we own and scoop 2-inch balls out of the dough. I must say that my two children have both worked in ice cream shops (hooray for family and friends discounts!), but I have never heard of an ice cream scoop being called a #12. I had a feeling that it was just a fancy way of referring to a standard ice cream scoop, but I deferred to our BFF the internet to make the call. Thankfully, my hunch was correct. Grab that ice cream scoop, or use two spoons or your hands, and start making those 2-inch balls.
Pour half of a cup of sugar into a small bowl, and roll each of those dough balls completely in the sugar.
Place the dough balls onto the parchment paper-lined baking pans, and make sure to give them about 2 inches to spread while baking.
This is the point at which we discuss our options. The recipe asks us to simply place the pans into the oven and let them bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they're golden brown. But there's a hidden step that'll help us craft our cookies to our specific cookie-enjoying needs.
If you like a puffier cookie with less cracks in the surface, place the pans into the hot oven as-is. You're done. Virtual high five to you!
If you'd like a slightly flatter cookie that has deep, glorious cracks (hello, crackle cookie!), then give the dough balls a little press before placing the pans into the oven.
Either way you choose, these cookies come out of the oven with a slight chew on the outside and a soft middle on the inside. And they pair beautifully with a hot cup of tea or a mug filled with creamy coffee.
I just love a cookie loaded with spices and molasses that has a bit of a chew and snap. The sweetness of the granulated sugar on the outside just works so beautifully with the savory ingredients. These cookies scream "HOLIDAYS!" And I love it.
My personal preference with a crackle cookie is to press the dough balls down just a bit. The payoff of those gorgeous cracks is huge, and you might just find yourself wanting to take a kajillion pictures of those cookies before gobbling them up.
What Disney-inspired treats are you baking up these days? Do you have a favorite holiday go-to recipe? Please share below. You know I'm always on the lookout for a new favorite!
Whatever you're up to this last weekend of 2020, I hope that it's a great one. We've been through a lot this year, and we've gotten through it together. Virtual high fives to all of us! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. I'm so thankful for you.
Ready to make this perfect-for-the-holidays-and-literally-every-single-other-day cookie? The recipe is below:
Disney's Wilderness Lodge Molasses Crackle Cookies
INGREDIENTS Makes 30 cookies
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar; divided
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with
- Cream together canola oil and 1 3/4 cups sugar
in large bowl.
- Add in molasses and egg, mix until blended.
- Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon
and cloves in medium bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to molasses mixture and mix
- Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar in small bowl. Use
a #12 ice cream scoop or with hand form 2-inch
balls, roll in sugar.
- Place on baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.
Source: Disney Parks Blog