The cookie jar is empty again so I thought I’d make Molasses Cookies using Mrs. Jul. Hagen’s recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. It’s a small cookie jar so I’m only making half the recipe.
I mixed 1 cup of brown sugar with 2 eggs and then added 1 1/2 cups of molasses. I added 1/2 a tablespoon of each of the spiced (ginger, cinnamon, cloves and allspice). I mixed 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda with the first cup of flour. It took 4 cups of flour to have something that could be rolled. I used my trusty juice glass to cut out the cookies. I baked them on greased cookie sheets at 350 degrees F. for 8 minutes. It was hard to wait until they cooled as the house smelled wonderful.
Mrs. Jul. Hagen is likely Louisa Caroline Stuckhardt age 37 when the cook book was published. She married Julius Hagen sometime before 1891 and by 1906 they had four sons. Julius was a cutter in a shirt factory called the Williams, Greene & Rome Shirt Company. The family’s religion is Lutheran and the couple’s parents had all been born in Germany. The 1911 census shows the Hagen family living at 70 St. George street which was near the factory. One son has already moved out but another is a cutter like his father while the youngest is a workman both in the same factory. Another son works at the CPR railway station as a book keeper.
Molasses cookies are often not very sweet but these are quite sweet with a nice spiciness to them. This recipe allows for some variation for a baker. The amount of flour and the length of time the cookies bake will change the texture of the cookies. Even the size of cutter and thickness of the rolled dough will affect the result. So, I suggest, playing with this recipe to get the result you enjoy. I liked the Molasses Cookies I made in 2012 using Mrs. Jul. Hagen’s 1906 recipe. Lucky Hagen boys if these cookies were in the cookie tin.
4 eggs, 2 cups brown sugar, 3 cups molasses, 1 tablespoon soda, 1 tablespoon ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice. Flour to roll.