Clove and Molasses Lace Cookies
Spicy cloves and molasses pair well with dark chocolate in this delicate cookie. Oats and walnuts add a nutty crunch.
- 3 oz. unsalted walnuts
- 3 Tbsp. old-fashioned oats
- 6 Tbsp. salted butter
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- 3 Tbsp. dark molasses
- 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
- In a food processor, pulse walnuts and oats in to a coarse meal. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add sugar and molasses and whisk just until sugar has dissolved.
- Take pan off heat and stir in flour, oat and nut meal, spices and zest. Allow to cool slightly.
- Spoon heaping teaspoon portions on to prepared pans, spacing about 4" from center to center.
- Using your fingers, spread each mound in to a smooth circle about 1/4" thick.
- Bake 9-10 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until cookies are a deep bronze color.
- Slide parchment paper on to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- Pick up one cookie and hold pinched between your fingertips. Use a pastry brush to coat half of the top of the cookie with chocolate. Return to the parchment and allow to set. Repeat with remaining cookies.
To store, keep in an airtight container between layers of parchment or wax paper.
These cookies are best if eaten within a couple of days.
There are so many smells and flavors that embody the holidays. There’s the fresh scent of the Christmas tree. Cinnamon sticks and peppermint. The smell of baking sugar cookies, or gingerbread men. It all mingles together like a thick, heady perfume, one that brings on nostalgia in waves.
I remember my mother and I pushing whole cloves in the skin of oranges and leaving them in bowls around the house. The combination of orange zest and spicy clove was yet another perfect representation of Christmas, and one I had hoped to recreate in my baking this year. So when I came across a recipe for nut and oat lace cookies I’d clipped from a magazine some time ago, I knew I’d found it. The perfect conduit for my flavors. I prepared myself for a long go in the kitchen, one that could only end in flour on my nose, in my hair, and on the kitchen floor. A cookie this pretty, after all, could only be born out of hours of unpaid kitchen labor. So when I read through the recipe and realized the simplicity of it, I could hardly believe my luck. A fancy cookie for people without fancy amounts of time!
These “lace” cookies are so called because the sugar, molasses and butter base, when cooked, spreads out in to a thin, lacey wafer. The texture has a toffee-like crunchy/chewiness that is truly wonderful, bolstered by bits of walnuts and rolled oats. With a modest coating of bittersweet chocolate and a pinch of orange and clove, these cookies are destined to become Christmas favorites.
Why is it (sort of) good for you?
Molasses is a sugar – there’s no getting around that. But, if you’re going to eat sugar, this is a great one to choose. It’s actually a byproduct of making white table sugar. Sugarcane contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, all of which are stripped away during sugar production. Many of the nutrients end up in that dark, spicy syrup we call molasses. It packs a good punch of potassium, iron, and calcium – all important minerals and common deficiencies.
Cloves are rich in several minerals as well, especially manganese. Manganese plays an important role in skin and bone health, and contains strong antioxidants that protect against free radical damage in skin and other cells. Cloves also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Walnuts contain an unusual form of Vitamin E that is particularly beneficial for heart health. They also contain several rare antioxidants, and regular walnut consumption has been associated with lower risk of different cancers (including breast and prostate).
Adapted from Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez’s Almond-Oat Lace Cookies recipe in Bon Appetit Magazine.