Designer Jill Lawrence, whose home is featured in our December issue, shares one of her family’s beloved holiday cookie recipes with us—along with a few fond memories of the treat’s namesake.
Like many Southern ladies, my grandmother was a HUGE influence on my life. I learned to read, bake, swim, over-dress for every occasion (she would often pick up my mother and, later on, me from school in her fur coat and heels), manners, the proper use of every kind of obscure silver flatware (grapefruit spoon, anyone?), and to live life to the absolute fullest. She was my everything, and catching the scent of these cookies around the holidays brings me right back to her. My entire family will tell you that there are two scents associated with our beloved Mimi: Chanel and Molasses Sugar Cookies. It describes her perfectly. Here’s the recipe for her famous sugar cookies.
Mimi’s Molasses Sugar Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies
3/4 cup shortening, melted (do not substitute butter; this has to be shortening)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Grandma’s Molasses (Has to be Grandma’s brand molasses to be the most authentic)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Additional sugar for rolling the cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Melt the shortening and let cool for about 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl on a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat well until creamy the sugar, molasses, and egg.
Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.
Form dough into approximately 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on cookie sheet, about 9-12 cookie balls per sheet.
Press down slightly to flatten each ball.
Bake for 7-8 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. This is the main secret to these cookies!
Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
Jill Lawrence and the At Home in Arkansas team
Click here to read more about designer Jill Lawrence and see her own home dressed for the holidays in our December issue.