New England Joe Froggers
Sadly, the original recipe for these monster cookies(see my teenage daughters hand for comparison) cannot be found, but this is as close as you will find anywhere. These cookies were named after Joseph and Lucretia Brown, of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Joe was a Revolutionary War veteran and a man of some stature in town. He was one of the very few black men who were not deported out of his hometown during the last quarter of the 1700s because of the financial burden many of the black inhabitants of Marblehead had on the town coffers. Joe and his wife opened Black Joe's Tavern sometime in the last decade of the 1700s, located very near Frog Pond and Gingerbread Hill. There are many stories of just how rowdy this mid-1700s Inn was, but the reputation that lasts into today are these gingerbread-flavored cookies. "Aunt Crese" made these cookies for their guests at the Inn and are so named because of their size, in comparison to the lily pads dotting Frog Pond. Along with this superb cookie recipe still in extant, the old fiddle, Black Joe played Yankee Doodle for his guests, is still hanging in the building.
For 1 Batch(es)
- 4 cup(s) flour
- 2 teaspoon(s) dried ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) each nutmeg, allspice and ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
- 1 cup(s) molasses
- 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick)butter or margarine
- 3/4 cup(s) sugar
- 1/3 cup(s) apple juice
- 1 teaspoon(s) rum extract *
New England Joe Froggers Directions
- In one bowl, blend flour and spices; set aside. In another bowl, stir the baking soda with the molasses, cover and microwave for 30 seconds, or until warm; set aside. In another, large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until creamy with an electric mixer set on high speed. Reduce speed to low and beat in apple juice and extract. Add molasses mixture and continue beating on low until smooth. Using a wooden or sturdy spoon, mix in the flour mixture until well blended. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Overnight is best.
- Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. On a well floured work surface, using plenty of flour on top of the dough, roll out until 1/4-inch thick. Cut out using at least a 2-inch cookie cutter, or equivalent rim of a glass. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving an inch space between each cookie. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Makes about 2 dozen monster Joe Froggers
- * Classically, you should put 3 tablespoons plain or flavored rum in these cookies.