Posts Tagged ‘molasses’

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i’ll tell you what i want, what i really really want

July 25, 2010

Reader C sent in a request for a chewy molasses cookie.  She then clarified that the request was really for her mom, who had been trying for years to recreate her grandmother’s cookies.  Talk about a no-pressure request!  Research was a little frustrating, as it seemed like so many of the recipes I found ended up in crispy, not chewy cookies.  I for sure needed chewy, not only for C, but for myself.  I have memories of my mom taking me to a small bakery near our house, and I always thought it was a special treat when I was able to get a hermit cookie to munch on.  They were flavorful and chewy, packed with spices and raisins, and they were the biggest cookies in the display.  Who could resist?

While the cookie I ended up with isn’t a hermit (no raisins or nuts), it does have a deep molasses flavor, and the spices almost seem to sneak up on you before leaving a glowing aftertaste.  And the chew?  Oh my goodness, these are some of the most satisfyingly chewy cookies I’ve ever made.  Results were sent into work with mrslovey, with a portion set back specifically for C and her mom.  I’m hoping that even if they’re not exactly like Gram’s, they’re close enough to keep the memories fresh and bring a smile to her face. Read the rest of this entry ?

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not sure who this Anna is, but she’s my new best friend

March 21, 2010

Anadama bread is delicious.  And it definitely originates in New England. Pretty much everyone agrees on these two things.  What isn’t as clear, however, is the exact source of the name.  Depending on who you talk to/what you read, it was either a farmer or a fisherman, exasperated with the constant diet of cornmeal and molasses his wife, Anna, was feeding him.  Apparently, the farmer just cursed his wife.  The fisherman craved bread, so he threw some yeast and flour into his daily mush, left it near the fire, and ate the resulting loaf.  Whichever is true (if either is), it’s an amusing story that reflects on how these two ingredients were a staple in the early New Englander’s daily diet.  I’ve been looking forward to making a loaf of anadama for several months, and finally got around to it today.

Holy cow, this is GOOD bread.  Possibly the best loaf so far this year.

The loaf itself feels substantial in the hand, but the bread is not overly heavy.  Does that make sense?  It’s like the tip on how to pick ripe fruit – find one that feels heavy for its size.  Anyway.  The cornmeal added a delicious flavor and texture, and was a nice departure from all-wheat breads.  I was worried that the molasses would be overwhelming, but it just lent a nice undertone.  This bread has great depth of flavor.  The crust is dark and chewy, with a sprinkling of cornmeal on top for added contrast.  The crumb is moist, dense, and amazingly flavorful.  It would lend itself well to toast or sandwiches.  Our first taste was with just a smear of butter.  For dessert, we spread a little jam.  I’m sure I’ll be making this again and again and again.  And again.  Damn you, Anna. Read the rest of this entry ?