I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
September 14, 2011
For YEARS now, I’ve been hearing about Tam Hodge’s infamous Tamolasses Cookies.
My friend Brandi has been making them for her family for a while, and she boldly claimed that they were “the best cookie recipe ever.” This is a woman with a LOT of great recipes, so I was intrigued when she made this statement on her blog.
But there’s one problem.
I’m not a huge fan of molasses.
Still, the subject of these cookies kept coming up periodically. Someone would make them and complain that she ate the entire batch in one sitting. Someone else would make them and bring them to a mom’s group and they’d be gone before my ten minutes late arrival.
I finally decided that I HAD to try these cookies, and that’s exactly what I did on Sunday.
Although they require a few special ingredients I don’t typically keep on hand (like butter flavored Crisco and a specific type of molasses), they were incredibly easy to make and emerged from the oven looking pretty darn tasty.
I served them up to my kids and a few of their friends and they liked them well enough.
And then I had one.
And another. And another. And another.
My husband got home and basically wolfed down the rest of the batch, all while muttering things like, “These cookies are CRAZY!” and “These cookies are CRACK!” This behavior was extra-outrageous because the man was ON A DIET.
And that’s why I have a new name for these cookies.
While your children will probably like them, I think these Crack Cookies are an even more special treat for adults. They are loaded with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and of course, molasses. They pack quite a punch. And there’s just a hint of saltiness to them, too, which really takes them up a notch. I’m not that stoked about spices in general, but I swear, I couldn’t stop eating these cookies! Tam apparently worked for a long time to perfect her recipe and it has paid off, BIG TIME.
Another thing I love about these cookies is that they’re perhaps the only fresh baked cookies I’ve ever had that are every bit as good cooled as they are warm.
So without further adieu, let me direct you to Tam’s website, where she has graciously provided the Internets with her heretofore SECRET recipe.
One note- While she advises not deviating from her recipe ingredients, my supermarket did not have Brer Rabbit Full Flavor Molasses. It only had Mild Flavor Molasses, so that’s what I bought. We liked the recipe with the mild flavor so much that I’ll probably stick with it. But if you are having trouble finding the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor Molasses, Tam advises checking your local Walmart Supercenter for it.
Try this recipe out and let me know what you think!
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for those that don’t keep crisco on hand, you can buy the bars and only use one at a time…it does not go bad and keeps a long time…kinda scary but nice to know
That’s what I do. 🙂 Those bars are great, because I almost NEVER use Crisco. I heard recently that lard is “in” again, though- that it’s considered to be healthy now!
I will try these this weekend for a get together we are havign at church. I was looking for something different. Thanks for the tip!
Oh dear. I was hoping not to make these this fall, as I truly can’t keep my hands off. My slightly different recipe is here – http://quiltbabe8.blogspot.com/2005/12/christmas-memory.html – I make mine with butter rather than crisco, but it’s pretty similar.
I used these for a Christmas cookie exchange one year, and ended up making almost twice as many as I needed for the plates, as they kept “hiding” themselves in my lunch bag.
The recipes are very similar! I’m guessing this is one that’s been around in different variations for a while- The ingredients are certainly old fashioned!
I am a nutritionist and I must point out that lard is not Crisco, Crisco is trans fat, that’s why it lasts so long. I would not use it in a recipe (at least not one that I wanted to make more than once or twice a year.) Butter would be a better alternative.
Lard is pig fat and it’s not considered healthy either although I would agree that it is ever so slightly healthier than Crisco. It’s saturated fat though and I have not heard anyone calling saturated fats “healthy.”
All that being said, the cookies do sound intriguing. I would switch out the Crisco for butter and give them a try. I believe everything (excluding trans fat) is fine in moderation… the problem might be that these cookies seem to make “moderation” difficult to practice!
Thanks for settling the lard vs. Crisco debate! I am very conscientious about what I feed my family on a day-to-day basis- That said, I think a little Crisco (or lard for that matter, if the recipe maker swears by it) is fine for special occasions– like COOKIE TIME!! LOL. 🙂
I volunteer to make them with butter. You know, just to see if they’re still good.
And you need to sample several to make sure that they’re fit to eat, right?
Although I do not keep lard on hand, I know of two recipes using lard. My friend makes the best frosted sugar cookies ever and they call for lard. My former neighbor (elderly woman who lived most of her life on a farm) would occasionally bring over an apple pie from scratch (made with our apples that we shared) and the crust was made with lard. I have to say that it makes the best pie crust EVER! Probably helped that she brought it hot straight from the oven. I could eat a whole apple pie with that crust!
I worked hard all summer to whittle another 10 pounds off my fat butt. Curse you, Lindsay, I say curse you!
Ha! Just make a very small batch…? 😉
Cookies do NOT last long in my house – and I’m usually the only one eating them. I swear I could finish the first dozen before the second is baked.
With that said, I’ve saved the recipe and will give them a try! But does it have to be specifically Brier Rabbit Molasses?
Tam says specifically not to deviate from her ingredients, but if you HAVE to, I’m sure they’ll still be good. 🙂
this is very nearly the same recipe that my Grandma gave to me years and years ago; although it calls for the Grandma’s Green label molasses. i’ve tried making them with butter and not Crisco and it does not really alter the taste but the cookies tend to get very hard after a few days. so i suppose if you are going to eat them all in one sitting, then not a problem 😉
Interesting… They are wonderfully soft. I rarely cook with Crisco, so I don’t even really understand what it is or what it does! I just use it on the rare occasions that I need it! LOL
This is similar to my grandma’s recipie as well, except without the cloves and ginger. I have also substituted butter instead of crisco and it doesn’t detract from taste.
I’ve heard a lot about Tam’s cookies. And now I’m convinced I’ll have to whip up a batch soon!
You won’t regret it!
You’ll be happy to know I asked Tam to join bible study this session… I’m secretly hoping she brings the cookies each week (crisco and all)!! 😉
Ha! I missed this comment last week. I hope you’re still doing it next year when Bruiser starts kindergarten because I want to rejoin. 🙂 I’ll bring… zucchini chips! LOL
Made these over the weekend and they are truly glorious!
Oh wow. Definitely trying these. Yum.
Ground Cloves, I assume, not whole right?