A dark molasses-type, soft cookie. An old-time American cookie from New England, attributed to the legendary Uncle Joe who made cookies as big as lily pads.

Dawn

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Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
12 mins
additional:
9 hrs 23 mins
total:
10 hrs
Servings:
36
Yield:
3 dozen cookies
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Ingredients

36
Original recipe yields 36 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar together. Mix in molasses and water. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice in a bowl; blend into the shortening mixture. Cover and chill overnight.

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  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets. Roll out cookie dough 1/4 inch thick on floured surface. Cut with 3-inch cookie cutter and arrange on prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle cookies with additional sugar (optional).

  • Bake until cookies are set up and very lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. You need to leave cookies on cookie sheet for 2 minutes after baking to keep them from breaking.

Nutrition Facts

124 calories; protein 1.4g 3% DV; carbohydrates 23.1g 7% DV; fat 3g 5% DV; cholesterolmg; sodium 135.6mg 5% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (35)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2007
This was a hit! I made some cream cheese icing for the top used 3/4 cup molasses instead of 1 cup and rolled them out to just a little bit thicker than the recommended 1/4 inch. My friends loved them and they were so fun to make:) The recipes does have a type-o in it. It calls for the use of baking soda in the ingredients and baking powder in the recipe. It was a 50/50 chance and luckily I chose the correct one which was BAKING SODA. Read More
(30)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
12/08/2018
Very nice molasses cookie, however not a Joe Frogger. Two Stars for effort. I knew it was "off the mark" when I saw the cut out cookies with a sugar frosting on top!!!! A recipe for Joe Froggers first appeared in print in Eleanor Early's cookbook, "New England Cookbook"published by Random House in 1954. Here is an excellent blog on making Joe Froggers, which gives some great background on the cookie and its history in Marblehead, Massachusetts. http://www.katyelliott.com/blog/2011/12/recipe-joe-froggers-cookies-from-marblehead.html Eleanor Early's recipe calls for rolling the dough to 1/2" and cutting with a large round cookie cutter, suggesting a coffee can be used as such. Though named after Joseph Brown, a freed slave from Marblehead, the cookie is credited to his wife Lucretia Brown. Make them as written, and make no substitutions and you will enjoy a true New England classic. Read More
(12)
42 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 23
  • 4 star values: 8
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2007
This was a hit! I made some cream cheese icing for the top used 3/4 cup molasses instead of 1 cup and rolled them out to just a little bit thicker than the recommended 1/4 inch. My friends loved them and they were so fun to make:) The recipes does have a type-o in it. It calls for the use of baking soda in the ingredients and baking powder in the recipe. It was a 50/50 chance and luckily I chose the correct one which was BAKING SODA. Read More
(30)
Rating: 5 stars
12/10/2007
Molasses gingersnap and gingerbread recipes are all very close.. I've tried so many different ones trying to find that one with the perfect bite and chewiness and flavor and for me this is the one. I added 1Tb. orange rind to the batter and did my usual changes: used half whole wheat pastry flour and only half the sugar and I won't get through this season without a constant supply on (or in) hand. I think the name keeps people from trying this recipe too because it doesn't come up on gingerbread searches. Well as they say seek and you shall find. Read More
(24)
Rating: 5 stars
03/02/2004
THE BEST. My 4 year old son has autism and is very very picky -- he won't even eat chocolate chip cookies or cake. Whenever I want to bake him a treat I turn to these cookies which he inhales. It's a bit time consuming and you have to plan ahead a little but the results are so yummy. I give these out at Christmas in shapes of trees and bears and moose. Will hold their shapes even if cut really large. And the house smells wonderful afterwards! Read More
(22)
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Rating: 2 stars
12/08/2018
Very nice molasses cookie, however not a Joe Frogger. Two Stars for effort. I knew it was "off the mark" when I saw the cut out cookies with a sugar frosting on top!!!! A recipe for Joe Froggers first appeared in print in Eleanor Early's cookbook, "New England Cookbook"published by Random House in 1954. Here is an excellent blog on making Joe Froggers, which gives some great background on the cookie and its history in Marblehead, Massachusetts. http://www.katyelliott.com/blog/2011/12/recipe-joe-froggers-cookies-from-marblehead.html Eleanor Early's recipe calls for rolling the dough to 1/2" and cutting with a large round cookie cutter, suggesting a coffee can be used as such. Though named after Joseph Brown, a freed slave from Marblehead, the cookie is credited to his wife Lucretia Brown. Make them as written, and make no substitutions and you will enjoy a true New England classic. Read More
(12)
Rating: 2 stars
01/07/2007
WAY too much molasses for my taste. The dough was extremely sticky as others have noted. I probably added another whole CUP of flour as I was rolling out these cookies just to be able to get them up off the counter. I think I will play around with this recipe though because I really liked the texture of the cookie--firm yet chewy. Next time I will use 1/2 the amount of molasses and substitute the other half with light corn syrup. I think I will also skip the cloves and add in cinnamon instead. I may even think about adding more flour to the dough to cut down on the stickiness and help with rolling out. For now this recipe only gets 2 stars but I will try again. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
09/23/2003
I LOVE molasses cookies and these are the BEST(sorry grandma)! They are very soft and chewy great with a cup of coffee. Read More
(11)
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Rating: 3 stars
12/13/2004
The flavor of these cookies was good. I could not roll them out/cut them out even after refrigerating overnight as the dough was too soft to do so. I ended up making balls rolling in sugar and pressing flat w/ the bottom of a glass. That worked well but all the cookies except the batch I accidently underbaked became rock hard. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2003
These are cutout cookies that are real soft and squishy-like so they might not work so good with ginger boys and girls. They are not overly sweet so maybe a light frosting would be a good add on. These are real easy and make the house smell festive. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2002
Not bad. I was hoping for something with a little more crispness and a little less bite. I think a light layer of cream cheese frosting would really have helped. Read More
(7)