What to do when you can’t work

I thought I would start the new year with a lovely walk to work and a nice quiet day in the office. But I woke up late this morning with that unique combination of trembly weakness and neck stiffness that portends a migraine. I wobbled into the kitchen, took a Relpax with my oatmeal, and waited to see if it would work. (I’m trying new migraine meds since Frova slowly stopped working last year.) An hour and a half later I didn’t have a migraine, but I was drowsy, silly, and stupid. I tried to work, but only ended up sending embarrassing emails and scrambling spreadsheets.

After spending half an hour feeling guilty/panicky about not working, I realized that my day needed some cookies! So I pulled out a recipe card from my gramma. If you actually know my gramma, you may be hurrying to close this tab, but don’t run away! My gramma’s roasts may have you chewing until next Christmas, but these cookies will melt in your mouth.

Grammas cookies

Old-fashioned molasses cookies

  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup boiling hot coffee
  • nuts or raisins and some extra sugar

Sift together flour, soda, salt, and spices. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and molasses and beat well. Add flour mixture alternating with coffee.

Place in refrigerator for one hour then drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Place a nut or raisin in center of each cookie and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Makes a lot.

The best coffee to make these with is, of course, Luzianne’s Coffee & Chicory. The recipe is pretty forgiving if my gramma’s brew of choice isn’t available at your grocery story. Honestly, I’ve made do with a strong cup of black tea or even just hot water. But the cookies are definitely best with coffee.

These cookies are quite cakey and the kind of flour matters. Because there’s so much stirring, even whole wheat pastry flour can give the cookies a bready texture.

In addition to refrigerating the dough prior to baking, I recommend popping the cookie sheets in the freezer (cookies and all!) for a few minutes before baking. Otherwise they tend to burn on the bottom.