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Dark Molasses Cookies

From: margaret 
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2013 11:47 PM
Subject: cookies

my great aunt made great molasses cookies they were dark in color and mine no matter what I do do not come out dark they taste 
almost as good but are never dark almost brownie dark can u help me with this...I use black strap molasses and in her recipe 
it calls for 3/4 cup hot coffee just can't get color right
Dover , pa

Hello Margaret,

Well, I feel that you are asking me to comment on a recipe that I know nothing about. The thing to do would have been to send me you great aunt’s recipe and asked my why your cookies didn’t turn out as dark as her cookies. All you are really telling me here is that her recipe had 3/4 cup hot coffee in it. You say that you use blackstrap molasses, but that doesn’t tell me whether she did or not – maybe you used blackstrap molasses to get the color darker, but her recipe might have just said molasses. Regular molasses comes in both light and dark versions. Blackstrap is what’s left in the kettle after these two have been drawn off. Blackstrap molasses has a very strong flavor, so it’s not used as much in cooking as the other two. The dark color could possibly come from three things: dark molasses, the coffee, and dark brown sugar. If her recipe just says “sugar”, you might try the some dark brown sugar. If her recipe calls for blackstrap molasses, then by all means use it, but if her recipe just says “molasses”, then I’d use dark molasses, not blackstrap. In our files, I found one recipe in our files with blackstrap molasses, and one with coffee.

A great man once said, “In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards”. Taking his advice, I searched the Internet for photos of the darkest molasses cookies that I could find. Then, I traced the photos back to the recipes. Here are the recipes that I found on the web, with photos:

Canadian Molasses Cookies

Ginger-Spiced Molasses Cookies

Ginger-Spiced Molasses Cookies 2

Alaska Molasses Cookies

Hopefully, you can take the information in these recipes and use it to adjust your cookies to a color that suits you.


Molasses Cookies

2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. shortening or 2 3/4 sticks    butter
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
5 c. flour
4 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 c. black strap molasses

  Mix sugar, eggs and shortening; add molasses and mix.  Add remaining ingredients, mix well with electric mixer.  
Shape into 1 inch ball, roll in granulated sugar.  Bake about 12 minutes in 350 degree F. oven on ungreased cookie sheet. 
Soft Molasses Cookies

4 3/4 c. sifted flour
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. ginger
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. soft margarine
1/2 c. hot coffee
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. soda (dissolved in the coffee)
1 c. dark molasses

Sift flour, add salt and spices.  Beat eggs, add sugar and blend.  Add molasses, shortening and coffee.  Mix thoroughly.  
Chill at least 1 hour.  Drop by tablespoon on greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes.  
From: margaret 
Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2013 3:02 AM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: dark molasses cookies

my aunt's recipe
1 c sugar 
3/4 c shortening
1 egg 
1 c molasses
3/4 c hot coffee
1 tsp soda 
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
4 c flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder

sift flour add salt and spices beat egg add sugar add molasses shortening and coffee mix thoroughly. 
chill 1 hr drop on greased baking sheet and bake 375 degrees 9-15 min

Hello Margaret,

I would say that using dark molasses and dark brown sugar are the keys to getting dark-colored cookies with your aunt’s recipe. The first thing to try is to use her recipe, but to use 1 cup dark molasses (unsulphured, and not blackstrap), and to use 1 cup of dark brown sugar, with everything else remaining the same .

If the result still isn’t what you want, then I’d try the recipes on those sites that I sent to you. As you can see from the photos, those make dark molasses cookies.


Peppy's Batter Mix

From: Nancy 
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2013 11:13 PM
Subject: Peppy's batter mix?

do you know of any recipe for Peppy’s Batter mix?  The Seattle company is out of business, and have yet to find an approximate recipe...
many have been looking for it, and we can’t seem to find it anywhere!
Thank you!

Hi Nancy,

I had no success find a recipe, a copycat, or even a recommendation of a substitute for this product. The trademark is owned by:

Continental Mills Website

Continental Mills, Inc.
18125 Andover Park West
Tukwila, Wa 98188 US
Main Phone Number: 800-426-0955

This company also owns Krusteaz, which makes a tempura batter for frying.

My suggestion to you is to call Continental Mills and ask their Customer Service for help. Occasionally, you can get a home recipe or a recommendation for a substitute by doing this for a discontinued product. If you have any success, please let me know.



Standing Rib Roast

From: betty
Sent: Monday, December 23, 2013 12:10 PM
Subject: Standing rib roast

I need a fail safe method to prepare my standing rib roast for xmas day. Want to make it medium. Is there a rub that should go on it?  
How long do I cook it for medium.  

Hello Betty,

I found several “fail-safe” recipes on the web. Since true oven temperatures vary, I would use a meat thermometer instead of relying on the cooking time alone. Most standing rib roast recipes are for medium-rare, and it is ruinous to cook one more than medium. Medium rare is recommended. The internal temperature using your meat thermometer should be 135° for medium-rare, and 145° for medium. Watch it closely. If you must use cooking time to estimate doneness, add 15 minutes to these cooking times for medium, because these are for medium rare. See the recipes on the sites at these links. Any sort of rub is wholly optional. Most standing rib roast recipes do not call for a rub. The recipes on the first two sites have a rub of sorts. The Paula Deen one looks pretty good.

Paula Deen's Standing Rib Roast

Vinetodine's Standing Rib Roast

Fail Safe Standing Rib Roast

Just a Pinch Prime Rib Roast


Did this and it turned out great.  Didn't want to screw it up as it was so expensive.  
Now, I have some left over and want to heat it up for tonight's dinner. How do I do that?  
I have some juice left over.  Should I warm it in that?  Thanks,  Betty

Hello Betty,

Betty, “tips” is not my thing. You can find this sort of thing by just going to and typing in your question. I went to Google and typed in: "reheating leftover rib roast". Dozens of sites with tips for reheating rib roast came up:


These may be the best of the lot: GardenWeb



Raincoast Crisps

From: "Donna" 
Subject: Raincoast Crisps
Date: Saturday, November 23, 2013 10:39 AM

First tasted these at Banff, Canada. They were delicious. And I can't find them in the States so...these are very good too, 
so others must like them as well.

Raincoast Crisps 

With Apologies to Lesley Stowe   Source:
6 p.m.Friday. You need cocktail nibbles for your dinner guests. Fast.Once again, your
reach for Leslie Stowe's delicious Raincoast Crisps, which you will serve with
Salt Spring Island Goat Cheese embellished with a hot pink edible flower.
We'd done it time and time again at $8.99 a box. Until we realized: hey, I can do that! 
Herewith, a fool proof recipe developed in the Vitamin V test kitchen:

Vitamin V Crisps 

Combine in a bowl:

1/2 C white flour
1/4 C flax or wheat germ
1/4 C sesame seeds
1/4 C poppy seeds
1/4 C sunflower seeds, chopped
1/4 C pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Set aside. In a saucepan, over low heat, for less than one minute, combine:

1/4 C buttermilk
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

Gradually add wet ingredients to dry until dough just starts to hold together 
(you may not need all the liquid or may need a pinch more flour). Roll as thinly 
as possible between two sheets of parchment paper and bake on a cookie sheet in 
slow oven (250 degrees) for one hour. 
After 30 minutes, take off top sheet of parchment paper. 
When one hour is up, turn off oven with crisps still inside and forget about them.  
You'll arrive home at 6 p.m. to a sheet of perfect crisps to break into bite-sized pieces. 

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