Molasses Cookies

Fourth Grade Holidays Activities:  Molasses Cookies

What You Need:

  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup buttermilk (psst: you can substitute 5 tablespoons yogurt plus 3 tablespoons milk)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • ¼ cup of white sugar, in a small dish (for dipping cookie batter)

What You Do:

  1. Start by creaming the butter and sugar in a bowl until they are thoroughly combined. Then add the egg, buttermilk, and molasses.  Mix everything thoroughly.
  2. Add the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and stir.
  3. Slowly mix in the flour and stir until just combined.
  4. Chill for 20 minutes, or until the dough is slightly stiff.
  5. To make cookies, form the dough into 1" balls and then dip the tops of the balls in a small dish of white sugar. Place them, sugar side up, on a nonstick cookie sheet, and use the palm of your hand to flatten them slightly.
  6. Bake the cookies 8-12 minutes at 350° or until they are golden brown and flat. The recipe makes about three dozen 2-inch cookies. Their tops will be sugary and they'll be chewy on the inside. The best part is, they will make your whole house smell delicious!

For an Extra Educational Twist:

Parents, you may notice that this recipe offers some handy practise with the mathematical concept of proportion! In this case, the butter, sugar, molasses, and buttermilk are all included in equal proportion, and each one is in 1:5 proportion with flour. So as you’re preparing your ingredients, don’t hesitate to play around with some maths. Let’s say, for example, that your neighbour was making this recipe, and she wanted to adjust the recipe to use up one full cup of sugar. Knowing the laws of proportion, how much buttermilk, milk, and molasses does your child think your neighbour will be be using, and how much flour? (Answer: 1 cup each; 5 cups of flour—6 dozen delicious cookies!)

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