My favorite subsitition is jelly/jam and if the pancakes had been cooked in enough butter, then I could eat them plain. But, a few times... my mom would try to pull out some kind of funky Bob White Syrup. It was kind of like a white molasses and I hated it. It WAS not pancake syrup. And to this day I have no idea what it really is (corn syrup, maybe? nasty hair product passed off as syrup? possibly). In any case, I was not a fan.
Honey? Yes! But Bob White Syrup? Molasses? Neither was I a fan of. Molasses has a bitter whang to it that I just can't get into. I LOVE brown sugar, so you'd think I like molasses. But... I cant get passed the bite. And blackstrap molasses? Holy Crap. Don't even talk to me about blackstrap molasses. I don't care how nutritional it is for you, there is no way I'm eating something that tastes, smells, and looks like tar. (Although, my mom does make granola with blackstrap molasses, and it's not so bad).
So, I kept remembering these as spice cookies, instead of molasses cookies. And then I'd read the title again... DRATS! Molasses. I persevered and bought my first ever bottle of molasses. I wanted to be wooed. I wanted to like the molasses, despite the funky-ass smell that it imparted to the whole batch of dough. I cautiously licked one of the beaters before throwing it in the sink. Ehhh... not as bad as it smelled, but I didn't go after the other beater (and that should tell you something about the dough, I prefer dough to cookies most of the time).
I baked a couple up (the rest I'm saving in the freezer for a special occasion or something) and loved the way they turned out. Flat with cracks all over the top. The taste? Spicy and yet, not too spicy. The molasses flavor is practically gone (thank goodness) and all that's left is a chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside spicy kick to your tastebuds. They are really good! And, dangerous, because since they aren't overwhelmingly sweet, you could easily get carried away and eat a bunch of these at at time. Yikes! Be careful.
Recipe by Dorie Greenspan
These cookies are simple to make. I omitted the pepper (I'm not a black pepper fan in general), and added vanilla (I can't bake something without it having vanilla or almond extract. It's a thing with me). The dough is quite sticky (dang molasses), but if you refrigerate it as instructed, you should be okay. I didn't want crispy cookies, so I didn't flatten my dough balls out at all and they ended up flat and chewy. Cookie Texture Perfection in my book.
Recipe found here.