The Friday Poem: Clean, Hot, Cotton

The Sunday Recipe: Soft Molasses & Buttermilk Spice Cookies

Soft Molasses & Buttermilk Spice Cookies

This is a recipe from my great, great-grandmother via my mother, with a couple changes of hers, then a couple of mine. This is actually one quarter of the original recipe and makes a nice dozen cookies. I use the same recipe every year to roll out for ginger bread men as well.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoons ginger
  • 1 ½ cups flour (wheat or gluten free)

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Mix in the molasses.
  3. Stir in the buttermilk, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. Measure in the flour and baking soda then stir.
  5. Dump out onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  6. Form into a log and roll up then twist the ends.
  7. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (You can refrigerate overnight, or even freeze for a month or so before using.)
  8. Preheat oven to 350.
  9. Prepare a pan with parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Slice roll of cookie dough into 12 equal portions and lay out on a prepared pan.
  11. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
  12. Cool and enjoy. (Note: the gluten free flour may make them a little drier but they will soften up overnight in a container.)

The Friday Poem: Post Storm

The Sunday Recipe: Buchta Loaves (Polish Nut Roll)

Buchta is a traditional Christmas breakfast in our house, along with oranges or apples and homemade eggnog. We usually make it in one large spiral, this recipe will make two, but I turned the batch of dough into four loaves this year — easier to share that way. Either one works, rising times and baking times are the same. It’s also very easy to halve the dough recipe, make one filling, and get two loaves. Each filling will fill one large round buchta or two loaves. I always make the fillings first.

Ingredients for dough

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter.
  • 2 cups of flour plus 4 cups of flour and some for kneading.
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 packages of active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Heat the milk for about a minute and 45 seconds in the microwave to scald. You can also do this on the stove top. You know it’s ready when steaming and a skin forms on the top.
  2. Cut the butter into chunks and melt in the hot milk. (Best if the butter is straight from the fridge. If it isn’t, you may want to let the milk set for five minutes after putting butter in before adding to yeast or it could kill the yeast.)
  3. In a large bowl, sift 2 cups of flour with 2 teaspoons of salt.
  4. Stir in the yeast.
  5. Add the brown sugar and stir in milk/butter mixture using a whisk.
  6. Set aside until bubbles form, about ten minutes.
  7. Beat in 2 eggs and 4 cups of flour.
  8. Mix well then knead for 10 minutes, or about 5 minutes using a dough hook in a stand mixer.
  9. Cover dough and let rise in a warm, draft free location for 1 1/2 hours.
  10. Prepare two cookie sheets or 4 loaf pans with grease/shortening or cooking spray and parchment paper.
  11. Divide into 2 or 4 and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.
  12. Spread with filling and roll up, Try to pinch dough together at seams and end. (It can be hard to do and a little leakage during baking is not abnormal.)
  13. If making large round ones, wrap the roll around one end, like a snail shell.
  14. Rise another 1 1/2 hours.
  15. Bake at 325 for 60 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Pecan Filling

  • 1/2 pound pecans, picked over for shells and ground or processed
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Just mix to combine and chill to stiffen before spreading on dough.

Cranberry Orange Filling

  • 1/2 cup dried craisins (I used 50% reduced sugar ones.)
  • Orange juice to cover, about 1/2 cup.

Directions: Combine and microwave for one minute. Stir and let sit for 2 hours. Process in blender or food processer until fairly smooth.

The Friday Poem: Strange Dreams That Never (Could) Happen