Thursday, June 17, 2010

Molasses cookie recipe

Vintage Recipe Thursday is meant to preserve your own original vintage family recipes, or out-of-print, copyright-free recipes from old cookbooks, magazines, newspapers or postcards. You're invited! Get the details by clicking to the Vintage Recipe Thursday Homepage. I post recipes from the Household Searchlight Recipe Book, first published in 1931. My 16th printing is from 1943. What will you post?


This week's recipe is for Molasses Cookies.  These are rolled cookies.  They include corn syrup which is not a common ingredient for the Household Searchlight Recipe Book, and one which I do not use at all.  I would recommend that when you make this recipe you substitute with a mild honey or with your own simple syrup.  It's very easy.  It's usually one part sugar and one part water.  Click the link for simple syrup directions.

This historical photo is of a molasses tank at Lucinda in 1928.  Location: Ingham, Queensland, Australia; Creator: Unknown; Rights information: No known copyright restriction; Source: Item is held by Hinchinbrook Shire Library; ID: Album 3 / Photo 84

Molasses Cookies
1 cup molasses
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound chopped nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 pound chopped citron
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn syrup (see note above)

Beat eggs until light.  Add molasses, sugar, syrup, water, and vinegar.  Sift 2 cups flour.  To 1 cup add spices, salt and baking soda.  Combine with first mixture.  Add citron and nuts which have been dredged with 1 cup sifted flour to make a soft dough.  Mix thoroughly.  Turn onto lightly floured board.  Roll in thin sheet.  Cut with floured cutter.  Place on slightly oiled baking sheet.  Bake in moderate oven (400 F.)  about 10 minutes.  50 servings.  Mrs. Hilda Keller, Albuquerque, N.M.


  1. I like the nostalgic photo, and the recipe sounds delicious!

  2. Minus the citron and nuts, this is my grandmother's recipe. She started making these cookies in 1942 or 43 from a recipe she found in a cookbook she checked out of the library. I'm confused about the comment/note on corn syrup. Maybe it's a Southern thing but I've used Karo Corn Syrup my entire cooking life, and my mother and grandmothers before me. Does simple syrup really make a good substitute? If so, it would be nice to know in a pinch if I'm ever out of Karo.

  3. UUUMMMM this sound great. Thanks for stopping by my porch. Hope you come back soon.

  4. Molasses cookies are one of my favorites - both the soft chewy kind and the crisp ones like this recipe.

    The picture is interesting - I never thought much about how molasses is processed - might be fun to look that up when we make the cookies!

  5. We have to have a baking contest someday. The cookies sound wonderful.
    I am displaying Angel Food Cake.

  6. have not had molasses cookies in quite some time thanks for posting this recipe

  7. Leiah: Yes, simple syrup and mild honeys make great substitutes for corn syrup. Actually, it's the other way around - corn syrup was invented as a cheap substitute for simple syrup.

    Regarding your comment about confusion over corn syrup use because 3 generations of women in your family have used corn syrup, well, first of all the corn syrup found in the first half of the 20th century was refined differently than corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup today. Additionally, the corn of yesteryear was not genetically modified as it is today - up to 95% according to statistics.

    Then there are all the scientific studies of the ill effects of corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup from world-renowned, prestigious universities like Princeton, Duke, John Hopkins, University of California Davis and San Francisco, just to name a very few.

    The media worldwide picked up on a Washington Post January 2009 article that one-third of high fructose corn syrup samples tested contained mercury, which is a poison, a neurotoxin. A Food and Drug Administration researcher blew the whistle in 2005 in a peer-reviewed article in the Environmental Health Journal about findings of mercury in nearly half of high-fructose corn syrup samples collected in 2005 (see link below).

    While the U.S. government heavily subsidizes various branches of the corn industry, there's also video of Joe Biden warning that corn syrup is deadly, and the New York City government and NYC Department of Health subsidizing a heavy campaign against sodas that are predominantly sweetened by corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup. The United States Public Health Service supported the Princeton study.

    For just a few glimpses at the dangers of corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup, including liver scarring, cancer, heart disease, mercury poisoning and obesity, take a look at these links:
    (the actual scientific article published in the International Journal of Biological Studies is at this link:

  8. Grandmother Wren: I'll bet it is an interesting process. I you do look it up, I hope you'll do a blog post about it, too.

    Russ: A baking contest sounds fun.

    Shopannies: :-) Thanks for linking your melon ice recipe.

  9. Joy thank you for the great info. I knew there had to be a reason, and now I know.(corn syrup)

  10. You have such a nice article for all recipes of desserts. I am very much fan of all these desserts.


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