A classic cookie has a new name, thanks to the pandemic.
Nettie Rose’s Zoom Molasses Cookies picked up the additional title because she is part of a Zoom video call group that’s been meeting weekly almost since the coronavirus shutdown began.
For Christmas she dropped off packages of the cookies to all the members.
Rose’s Zoom Molasses Cookies were recommended for the Cook’s Corner by two different members of the call group.
Retired Bowling Green First Presbyterian Church minister Mary Jane Saunders insisted that Rose needed to have these cookies featured in the Cook’s Corner.
Instead of reaching into the refrigerator for a beverage to go with the cookie, Rose suggested brewing one.
“It would be fine with milk, but I think they would be best with a good cup of coffee, because of the spices. Maybe the spices make it seem a more wintry thing. Or hot chocolate, it would be good with hot chocolate. It has a strong molasses flavor. It’s a dunker cookie, almost.”
She’s been baking these cookies, for a variety of events, for more than 10 years.
“We had a cookie exchange,” Rose said of the way she discovered this cookie.
After the annual Christmas event there was a recipe exchange. This recipe became a regular one for her, and she’s tweaked it over the years.
It calls for the dough to sit for two hours in a freezer, which she has changed.
“I usually just refrigerate instead, because the bowl is too large for my freezer,” Rose said.
The original recipe also called for a longer baking time. She now recommends only 12 minutes.
“It firms up. You don’t want it hard. It would be too crispy. The less time the better,” Rose said.
While many cookie recipes will call for rolling out, or otherwise flattening the dough before cooking, these are put on the sheet as a ball. In addition to cutting the cooking time from the original recipe, she now also pulls the cookies out of the oven and lets them cool for two minutes on the hot sheet. She said that you can watch the cookie settle into a much flatter shape while it’s in the oven, but the process continues a little bit after pulling the sheet out.
“I use red or green crystal sugar, for Christmas, but now, I guess I’m also using red and crushed peppermint sticks for Valentine’s Day. That also gives it a little different taste,” Rose said. “Roll it completely in the sugar, it’s not just on the top.”
In other seasons she will use the standard “white” crystalline sugar.
She used a dark molasses this time, which she said probably gives it a darker color and richer taste. The difference is subtle and most people don’t notice if a light molasses is used, which is what Rose typically does, if she thinks a less robust taste might be preferred.
“They also freeze well,” Rose said, adding that having them frozen, and available without a need for taking the time to bake them, can be very convenient during a busy holiday season.
“It’s just a good cookie,” she said.
She has been retired for almost five years. She was a counselor for Liberty Center schools and lives in Haskins with her husband Wally Fraker. They have four sons, who are all grown and out of the house.
It was mentioned that two of her sons were in town for the holidays and they ate the entire package before she could get any, and they were a favorite at church gatherings.
“It’s a nice gift cookie,” Rose said.
Wally is a fan of Zoom Molasses Cookies, but he added, that he loves all of his wife’s baking.
“There isn’t a bad cookie. There isn’t such a thing.”