A lightly-spiced molasses cookie with crushed peppermint in the dough, covered with frosting and more peppermint. Sounds weird…trust me.
So have you got your house all decked out for Christmas? We’re trying over here. We really are. This is the first year we’ve ever been in an actual house and not an apartment. Before when I put up my 8 decorations, it felt cozy and festive in our 20 square foot living room. But now that I have all this empty furniture-less space, my hand-made-Pinterest-wanna-be paper decorations are just not cutting it.
Even Eric noticed. He asked if I could pick up a tree skirt while I was at the store. This to cover up the plastic claw-like foot of our fake 5-foot Walmart Christmas tree. (We always travel during the holidays so have never been able to justify buying a real tree. To my everlasting shame, I assure you.)
We must have lost our box of ornaments during the move, because the only ones we could find were a couple homemade paper ones, a shatter-resistant glass ball with a Star Wars Stormtrooper sticker on it (why??), and a creepy little babushka ornament that I got at a white elephant party.
Also there is a 4-foot string of popcorn that we made for our first Christmas. We were all like, hey, we’re poor, let’s do popcorn strings and then 12 hours later we realized just how insane it is to needle through popcorn, so we gave up. It’s not long enough to wrap around the tree, so we just zig-zag-drape it across the front and hope no one notices. Supa classy.
But back to the tree skirt. Do you KNOW how much those things cost?? Like, more than our tree, apparently. All the ugly ones were $35, and then I saw one that was actually cute…for $40. Bummer!
I was trying to think of a way that I could make a paper tree skirt (I’m kidding, geez) when I walked past the aisle with the mini counter-top trees. You know, like the 24-inch ones. And lo and behold…tree skirts. Mini tree skirts. 8 bucks! I snagged one up faster than you can say ghetto Christmas.
Our pitiful tree now has what is essentially a red wool sock that doesn’t extend past the lowest branches. It’s festive, dangit.
My best friend in college made these Candy Lasses for Christmas every year. I love them. It’s her grandmother’s recipe. These cookies are kind of hard to describe without tasting them, but essentially they are a lightly-spiced molasses cookie with crushed peppermint in the dough, covered with frosting.
This sounds weird. I know. Molasses and peppermint? It is not a flavor combination that I would have ever thought of, but it totally works. There are only a couple tablespoons of molasses, so it is not overwhelming, but it still provides that deep golden flavor. These would be a great addition to your neighbor gifts! What cookies have you guys made so far this year?
Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Candy Lasses (Molasses Cookies with Peppermint)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ginger
- 2/3 cup butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 & 1/2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cup crushed candy canes, about 7
For the frosting:
- 1 stick salted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2-4 candy canes, crushed
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together 2/3 cup butter*. Add ¼ cup packed brown sugar and ¼ cup white sugar. Beat for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides well.
- Add egg and molasses. Beat on high until it's not lumpy anymore.
- Use a food processor or a rolling pin to crush 7 candy canes. Add crushed candy and dry ingredients all at once and mix until just combined, scraping sides.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Use a 2-inch cookie scoop to drop them on the sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-14 minutes. Take them out when they are no longer shiny on top.
- Remove to a wire rack after a couple minutes and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, cream the butter in a large bowl. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk and combine well, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add more milk if it is too thick, powdered sugar if it is too thin.
- Crush 2-4 candy canes in a food processor or with a rolling pin.
- When the cookies have cooled, frost the cookies and immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Or if you want you can stir that candy cane into the frosting, then spread it on. These will keep on the counter in a sealed container for 2 or 3 days.
Here’s what your candy canes will look like if you use a food processor. I like to have pretty fine pieces in the actual dough.
I used a rolling pin for these guys. You won’t be able to crush them as fine. I sprinkled this on the top.
Add the candy canes and dry ingredients all at once.
Here they are just out of the oven.
And there you have it! Enjoy!
This recipe is THE ONE. After many years of never baking these, I baked them this Christmas using YOUR recipe. They were perfect and everyone enjoyed them. They will now be an annual Christmas tradition. Thanks so much for your excellent recipes.
There is an old-fashioned candy store in York Beach, ME that makes the best salt water taffy – The Goldenrod. Molasses Peppermint is my favorite flavor of taffy, so I’ll be making these today!
That is awesome Liz! I totally want to try that taffy. It’s such a great flavor combo, I’m so glad you’re backing me up here!!
These are so creative and so pretty!! I would never have thought to combine molasses and peppermint but it does sound good!
Great blog Karen! I’m going to click on your nose now. :)
Thanks Sarah! I know, the molasses peppermint thing. A friend of mine told me yesterday that she’s going to make molasses cookies rolled in crushed lemon heads. Whaaaat? It’s probably amazing though, molasses is a sly character apparently.
Oh I have a cookie exchange on Monday for work and I was wondering what to make- and now I know!
Good choice! Let me know how it goes Mom! :)
omg the icing looks amazing!
Thanks Dina! It’s super easy :)
Molasses cookies are so good but I bet with peppermint, it’s over the top good! Love these! We have two of the same tree skirts because we couldn’t find it one year so we bought another of the same and now we have two and I do not like it. I want a white, ruffley one that’s kind of shabby chic. But oh well. The red and white santa skirt we have does the job.
That’s the worst! Having to buy two of something you don’t even like! Bummer. At least you know what you want though Chels. I’m so not good at interior decorating. My only criteria was to cover up “the claw” lol.
Yay peppermint cookies! These look super tasty!
We had a similar problem with a tree skirt. I have a beautiful navy satin, hand-beaded snowflake tree skirt I got from my wedding… which my children are determined to tear to pieces. Darn crawling children. Anyway, JoAnn’s had some fleece tree skirt kits for $20. I’m still too cheap for that, but it gave me the idea to take a $2 fleece blanket with scalloped edges and cut a hole in the middle to fit it around the tree. Sure, it’s slightly rectangular, but I like it better because it gives a larger base for all of the presents we have for Christmas. Score!
Now to go make these cookies for Christmas dessert plates I’m making to give to friends…
Thanks Kelly! That’s a good idea with the fleece, I like it! And I’m all about the $2 part haha.
Seriously, let me know if you try these cookies. They’re Sarah’s grandma’s :)
These cookies look really festive. We have the artificial tree my parents bought when I was in kindergarten. Every year I claim I will get a new on on the 26th with the super deals, but it doesn’t happen. We could never handle the watering of a real tree.. and I worry the cats would be attracted to it even more.
Thanks! Someday you need to try a real tree Laura. Someday when your cats are on vacation maybe? :) You should see my in-laws cats go crazy over their fake tree. They totally scale it. It’s kind of impressive. And destructive.