Joe Froggers

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This is a recipe from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented.

I made these cookies near Valentine’s day when I was craving something sweet but didn’t have any eggs. These cookies are egg-free and could be adapted to be vegan by substituting something for the butter.

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Joe Froggers, or Ginger Rum Molasses Cookies

Yield
36 to 48 cookies, depending on the size of the cutter

Ingredients
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup vegetable shortening [I substituted more unsalted butter despite the authors’ note that an all-butter cookie is not as good]
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar [I make my own with granulated sugar and molasses]
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups molasses
3 tablespoons dark rum [I used Bacardi]
Coarse sugar for décor [I skipped this]

Instructions
Whisk the flour, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda together. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment [I used a hand-held mixer and it worked fine], beat the butter and shortening together until there are no visible lumps. Add both sugars and beat just until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, add the molasses, and beat until the mixture is uniform in color.

Prepare 1/3 cup very hot water. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the hot water; in three parts, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, add the rum, and mix for 15 seconds. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Roll the dough into a ¼ – inch thick round [I wanted thicker, fluffier cookies so I did not roll mine as thin].

Cut out the cookies with a 2- to 3-inch round [I used heart-shaped] cookie cutter, and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle a tiny bit of sanding sugar onto each cookie.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, until they are set. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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