When I was a little girl, I would sometimes curl up in my grandmother’s bed in the early mornings, where she’d tell me stories of our family and sing to me in French. She called Connecticut home, though she lived more of her life in New York than Connecticut. Still, the Nutmeg State was where our family’s homestead was located, where she’d spend summers on the shoreline with her mother, sister, aunts and cousins. It was where holidays were spent, gathered around a big table.
By the time I was born, the family homestead – a Victorian house and farm – had been sold and much of the family had relocated to Cape Cod. But the house is still there, just a few miles from where I live now. It’s no longer a home or a farm though. The land has been sold off, and the house loosely converted into offices.
Still, it retains the charm and magic that captivated my family for nearly 70 years.
I spent summers here as a child with sandy feet and salty wet hair from the Long Island Sound and for the last 10 years, I have called it home.
When Better Homes and Gardens asked me to represent Connecticut in their State Cookie Contest, I said yes right away. A state cookie? No problem! Naturally, I turned to the recipes of my Connecticut Yankee family.
This recipe is adapted from our family cookbook, The Moulding Board, a 30-year-old book that combines recipes from my extended family and diary pages from my Great-Great Grandmother compiled by my cousin Barb. A former neighbor at our family’s homestead, Mrs. Phil Webber, used to make these cookies for my Great-Great Aunt Sarah, my namesake.
For my rendition of these classic cookies, I’ve replaced shortening with butter, changed the method a little and added nutmeg — in honor of Connecticut (which is the Nutmeg State. Don’t ask me why – I don’t know either).
They’re soft, a little chewy, with a rich flavor and a slight bite. They’re sweet but not crazy sweet. They would be amazing served with coffee, shared on a sunny front porch with a cousin or neighbor.
Connecticut Spice Cookies
yields about 2 1/2 dozen
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 large egg
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the unsalted butter, egg, sugar and molasses until well combined. The mixture should look a little like mousse.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and baking soda. I like to use a whisk for this — so easy.
Change the stand mixer’s blade to your paddle attachment. Turn it on to its lowest speed and add the flour mixture a little at a time, until its fully combined.
Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out cookies and place them on the prepared baking sheet leaving about 2-inches between them.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Disclosure: Though I wasn’t compensated for this post, I was provided with a Better Homes and Gardens baking sheet. The baking sheet is available at Walmart and cooked very evenly. I do have an opportunity to win a prize with this recipe though, and if I am in the top five, I will have a BHG giveaway for you.