Chewy or crisp? Take your pick

  • By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
  • Friday, October 26, 2007 5:17pm
  • Life

A few weeks ago, Verline Swanson of Sultan asked if readers could come up with a recipe for a molasses cookie to match the version Starbucks offers…

As it turns out, not a single Forum cook had ever eaten one of these coffee-sellers’ cookies, which I personally think is kind of a hoot, but, nonetheless, a hefty handful have baked batches and batches of their own favorite molasses cookies.

So, continuing our exploration of this still popular, not to mention treasured, oldie today, we hear from Marysville cookie person Betty Ronning.

“This is my first recipe I’ve ever sent in,” she writes. “It makes really yummie cookies, in my opinion. I got this recipe from a woman who brought a plateful to a park board meeting when I worked for the Everett Parks and Recreation Dept. a while back. They are similar to, but not the same as, those printed in the paper Oct. 15.

“These cookies can be either chewy or crisp, depending on your oven temperature. And, I buy the coarse crystal sugar at Haggen’s in Marysville to roll the dough balls in. It adds to their appearance.”

Betsy adds, “Judyrae, my mother baked cookies on the bottom rack about halfway, then moved the pan to the rack above, which was midway in the oven. Then she put a second panful on the bottom rack to begin baking.

“I also do this when I bake cookies. It speeds up the process, but you have to watch them more carefully. Ask you readers to see if anyone else does this — any pros or cons?”

How about it, Forum friends? Because I personally think making perfect (well, so to speak) cookies is a terrifying, scarifying project, I have NEVER, EVER, not once, used this technique. On the other hand, I’ve used this same switch-‘em method, with great success, with pans of dinner or sweet rolls and pizza, too.

If you can shed some light on this particular subject, please write to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c?o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.

Please remember that all letters and all e-mail must include a name, complete address with ZIP code and telephone number with area code. No exceptions, and sorry, but no response to e-mail by return e-mail; send to

Now for Betty’s cookie how-to:

Molasses crinkles

3/4cup soft shortening

3/4cup butter, softened

2cups brown sugar


1/2cup molasses

41/2cups flour

4teaspoons baking soda

1/2teaspoon salt

2teaspoons cinnamon (use heaping spoonfuls for spicier cookies)

2teaspoons ginger (use heaping spoonfuls for spicier cookies)

1teaspoon cloves (use heaping spoonful for spicier cookies)

Sugar for dipping, preferably coarse crystal sugar

Spray bottle of water for misting cookies

In large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, butter, brown sugar, eggs and molasses; set aside. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves; add to creamed mixture and stir or beat until all ingredients are well mixed. Cover bowl and chill dough. When dough is cold, roll into balls. Dip tops into sugar and place sugar side up on ungreased cookie sheet. Using a spray bottle, lightly spray tops with water. Bake cookies at 375 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes.

SOS: We hear from Betsie Snoey of Mukilteo, “I have discovered the most important reason to always share your favorite recipes with others! I have misplaced my banana bread recipe that includes a commercial cake mix, not a baking mix such as Bisquick. It was so easy, and I am hoping that someone out there knows what I need and is willing to share.

“Otherwise, I’ll just keep putting these old bananas in the freezer and never make banana bread again!”

SOS: Everett reader Bret Lawson is fairly desperate because he cannot, absolutely and no matter what cannot, find his recipe for a peanut butter cake with a peanut butter frosting. He thinks he ran across it four or five years ago, and where it’s gone since then is not just a mystery, but a major problem.

So, then, Forum folks — if you can share some input on the baking switch-‘em, ante up with a recipe for the cake-mix banana bread (please don’t send any other banana bread recipe, no matter how good — many of you have already given us your wonderful favorites), or send along a recipe for a pb cake with a pb frosting, you know who and where to write. Thanks.

The next Forum will appear in Wednesday’s Food section.

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