Baked Explorations: Ginger Rum Molasses Cookies

October 11, 2010

I remake these delicious Ginger Rum Molasses Cookies every year! Soft and chewy, they are by far my favorite spiced cookie. Perfect for the holiday season or any time you have a craving! 

When I received my copy of Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, I turned directly to the Cookies and Bars section.

  Baked Explorations: Ginger Rum Molasses Cookies | Fake Food Free


I’m not sure why because the book is filled with every other treat imaginable – pies, tarts, bundt cakes, layer cakes, cupcakes, waffles, donuts and scones. The subtitle of the book is, Classic American Desserts Reinvented, and these experienced authors and bakers have left no stone unturned.

Lewis and Poliafito are authors of another, very popular, cookbook, Baked, and own a Brooklyn-based bakery of the same name. It was love at first word as I read the introduction when Lewis explains how he no longer plans vacations like a normal person. He writes:

“In addition to choosing the mountain, the condo, and the best month to ski, I might also insist that we spend a day off-slope in search of a much-written-up, much-blogged-about creamy bourbon milkshake.”

The Cookbook, Baked Explorations | Fake Food Free

One, he mentioned food and travel. Two, he mentioned bourbon.

I’ll sum up my review of this cookbook pretty quickly – if you love to bake or want to love it, you need this cookbook. The recipes will spark some memories of old time favorites, but you might also be introduced to delicious cakes and pies you were previously unfamiliar with.

Each recipe begins with an interesting story. The instructions are straightforward and well explained. The only thing I might fault is that the ingredient list is difficult to read due to small print and italics, but it emits a bit of style that goes so well with the book that I’m willing to overlook it in my recommendation.

The Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Salt-n-Pepper Sandwich Cookies, Carrot Coconut Scones and the Caramel Apple Cake are all on my to-bake list. For this review, however, given my current schedule I chose something a little ambitious, but no less delicious.

The name given to these cookies in the book is Joe Froggers and a wonderful little story accompanies this name. However, according to the Baked Note (little tips throughout the book) the original Joe Frogger was made with all vegetable shortening. The authors switched this to half butter, half shortening and warned that an all butter cookie just wouldn’t be a Joe Frogger.

Baked Explorations: Ginger Rum Molasses Cookies

So unfortunately, I guess I can’t call mine Joe Froggers because I don’t use vegetable shortening in my baking. I can, however, give it the second name given in the book – Ginger Rum Molasses Cookies.

If you are looking for your next gingerbread man, I’ve found him for you.

This cookie bakes up into a chewy, soft, spicy cookie. As you have probably already guessed, yes, it is going on the holiday baking list! I love this cookie!

I used my standard white whole wheat flour, dememara and mascavo sugar, but I am printing the original recipe here for you to do as you wish. The dough needs to be refrigerated so plan ahead when making these.

This cookbook is one for your baking bookshelf. If you can’t get it in time for your holiday baking, I’d highly suggest putting the book itself on your gift wish list!

Ginger Rum Molasses Cookies

Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Makes: 36 to 48 cookies (depending on the size of your cookie cutter)


4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup vegetable shortening
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups molasses
3 tablespoons dark rum
Coarse sugar for décor


Whisk the flour, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda together. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until there are no visible lumps. Add both sugars and beat just until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, add the molasses, and beat until the mixture is uniform in color.

Prepare 1/3 cup very hot water. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the hot water; in three parts, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, add the rum, and mix for 15 seconds. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Roll the dough into a ¼ – inch thick round. Cut out the cookies with a 2- to 3-inch round cookie cutter, and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle a tiny bit of sanding sugar onto each cookie.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, until they are set. The author notes – 8 minutes for a chewy cookie, 12 minutes for a crispier cookie. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Baked Explorations: Ginger Rum Molasses Cookies

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for review purposes. I was not required to write about it nor did I receive any compensation for doing so.

Thanks for reading! All images and content are the property of Fake Food Free unless otherwise stated. Please do not republish full recipes and images without written permission. What is okay? Feel free to Pin images, share links to my posts or share the photo in a round up post with the title of this recipe and a link back to the post. Confused about copyright and food blogs? Here is some helpful information on Recipe Attribution. If you want to use a photo or full recipe, just ask. I’m sure we can work something out.

You Might Also Like

  • 5 Star Foodie October 11, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    These cookies sound so scrumptious with the ginger and rum!

  • megan October 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    That cookbook sounds incredible. It’s been added to my Christmas list 🙂

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) October 12, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Spice cookies are my favorite! I love the dark color from the molasses and the slight bite of clove and cinnamon.

    So did you replace the shortening with butter?

  • Lori October 12, 2010 at 9:28 am

    5 Star – They are tasty. I loved the rum in them!

    megan – You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

    Andrea – Yeah, I used all butter. They turned out great for me even if they aren’t exactly like the original.

  • emily (a nutritionist eats) October 12, 2010 at 11:50 am

    You have definitely inspired me to make more than 1 kind of cookie this christmas!!

  • Chocolate Shavings October 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Baked Explorations is definitely on my list of books to get- the your cookies look great!

  • Eliana October 14, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Your cookies look awesome Lori! Andhow awesome is this book! I gave it to myself as an ealy birthday present and am having a good time just flipping through the pages. Everything looks so increidble in it.

  • Amanda October 14, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Oh, I just saw this book in stores and had to flip through it! Everything looks divine… and decadent, of course!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us! Do you think brandy would make a decent substitution for rum? I do have a large bottle of that in my cupboard. 😉

  • Lori October 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Amanda – So sorry that I overlooked your question. Brandy would probably work. I think bourbon would make a great substitution as well.

  • OysterCulture November 8, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Ginger rum sounds like the perfect pair, and ginger cookies are an absolute must for me at this time ofyear.