When I first viewed this recipe, I felt dubious because of the quantity of molasses. After years of flipping past the page, I decided to give it a try. After all, Yvonne Young Tarr has never been accused of a wrong turn in her recipes. This is from her Squash Cookbook, copyright 1978. The three nine-year-old boys who tasted the first batch of cookies did not ask about the molasses. They just wanted to know if there were any more cookies left.
I love these little gems when they are still warm. The outside is crusty and the inside is soft and a bit chewy. I added to Yvonne’s cookie plan by using half spelt flour and half all-purpose, and by sprinkling the tops of the cookies with granulated sugar before going in the oven. I knew that visually these very dark little cake-cookies needed to grab the interest of the young boys I love to feed. We now call them gingerbread cookies. They are like a nugget of gingerbread to enjoy with your coffee or tea.
In spite of all the enjoyment, remember you are sneaking in some vegetable power and a sweetener (molasses) that is full of vitamins and minerals. The freshly ground spelt is high in the enzymes that break down phytic acid. Of course, don’t breathe a word of this to the younger generation. After they grow up healthier than most, you can let them in on your little secrets.
These cookies are soft, so handle them carefully in storage. They are worth the extra care. If you are not going to freeze them, any airtight container will do. If you do freeze them, consider freezing them on the tray first and then transfer the frozen cookies to a freezer container. Once frozen, they do not tend to break.
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