Molasses Cookies


 From our Kitchen at Shepherds Run

Spiced Molasses Cookies 

Our spiced molasses cookies, originally known as "Joe Frogger Cookies" originated in the late 1800's. The cookie originated in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where a fisherman named Uncle Joe lived by a large frog pond. Uncle Joe made the BEST molasses cookies in town and people called them Joe Froggers because they were dark and plump as the fat little frogs in the pond!
Marblehead fisherman would ask for batches of these simple cookies to take to sea on their travels, as the cookies remain soft and flavorful throughout their fishing trips.
Today Joe Foggers are made in many homes throughout New England during the Holiday season, and are featured on the menu at the  Sturbridge Village Tavern, as well as in the village bake shoppe in Sturbridge Village.
We hope you enjoy these cookies, as so many have throughout the century!
Happy Holidays! 




2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon table salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mild or robust molasses


1. Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, allspice, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.  

2. Using standing mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium/low. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat in molasses until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds (dough will be soft). Give dough final stir by hand to ensure that no flour pockets remain.

3. Spread remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in shallow dish. Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll into ball with your dampened hands, then roll in sugar to coat. Space dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. 

4. Bake cookies one sheet at a time until edges are set but centers are still soft, puffy, and cracked (cookies will look raw between raw between cracks and seem undone), 10-12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet for 10 minutes. Serve warm or transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. 

Wayne Hawksley

Culinary Director

Shepherds Run