Walter was in bed, warm, fed, comforted. Susan had whisked on a fire, got him a hot cup of milk, a slice of golden-brown toast and a big plateful of his favorite "monkey face" cookies, and then tucked him away with a hot-water bottle at his feet." (ANNE OF INGLESIDE, X)
The raisin "faces" provide a touch of whimsy to these deliciously spicy molasses cookies. Today we have the luxury of seedless raisins, but before Anne could have used raisins in a recipe, she would have had to pick out all the tiny seeds by hand!
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar 1 egg 2 Tbsp (25 mL) molasses 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda Pinch salt 1 tsp (5mL) ground cinnamon 1 tsp (5mL) ground ginger 1/4 cup (50mL) raisins or currants
1. Preheat your oven to 350 F (180C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, blend together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in the egg and molasses.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter/egg mixture.
4. Flour your hands and pinch off bits of dough about 1/2 tsp (2mL) at a time. Roll each bit into a ball or simply drop onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
5. Using the bottom of a glass tumbler that has been greased and dipped in sugar, press each cookie until it is about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick. (Re-sugar the glass for each cookie.) Press three raisins into each cookie to make the eyes and mouth of the "monkey face." [ :· ]
6. Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until firm. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
Enjoy with a glass of milk or a cup of tea. Give some to your friends and "kindred spirits!"
Note:In our books, we use only materials and methods our characters would have used in the late 1800s so that you will have the most authentic experience possible.
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