This recipe is from the cookbook called
America's Best Lost Recipes by the editors of Cook's
Country magazine. A Joe Frogger cookie is a oversized molasses-spice cookie that dates back to Colonial times, approximately 200 years ago to Black Joe's
Tavern in Marblehead, MA, a seaside town about 25 miles north of Boston. The Joe Froggers people make now are probably a little different
than the original recipe. For one thing, in the 1700s they were the size of salad plates or lily pads - about 6 inches in diameter, and were made
for sailors to take on ships and thus lasted a long time.
History of Joe Frogger Cookies from the
Marblehead Magazine website:
Named for Revolutionary War patriot and freed
slave, Joseph Brown, these large
cookies were said to be the size of the frogs in "Black Joe's" Pond.
Marblehead's early fishermen used to take the cookies with them on long voyages
to the Grand Banks as a standard part of the ship's provisions. The ingredients
of rum and seawater acted as preservatives. They are now a cherished Marblehead
tradition with "original recipes" circulating rapidly for historic
authentication by native Marbleheaders. The cookies were first made in the
1800's by Lucretia Brown, Joseph's wife. While today the cookies are mostly
round, in the beginning they were described as "lily pad" shaped.
Cookie Recipes and
Secrets To Making Perfect Cookies. Also learn
How To Have A Successful Holiday Cookie Exchange or Cookie Swap.
Joe Frogger Cookies:
New England (Marblehead, MA)
Yields: 2 dozen
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 7 min
1 cup dark rum (such as Myers's brand)
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups all-purpose
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated
In a small bowl, stir together the rum, water and salt until the salt dissolves.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and
cloves. In a large measuring cup, stir together the molasses and baking soda
(the mixture will begin to bubble), and let sit approximately 15 minutes until doubled in volume.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and sugar
approximately 2 minutes until fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and
gradually beat in the rum mixture. Add the flour mixture and the molasses
mixture, alternately in two batches; scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until stiff, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Adjust two oven racks to the upper-middle and
lower-middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with half of the cookie dough, which will be soft) at at time on a heavily floured work
surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out the cookies with a 3- to 3
1/2-inch cookie cutter or the rim of a drinking glass. Space the cut out cookies
1 1/2-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets (only 6 cookies per baking sheet
as they will spread).
Bake approximately 6 to 7 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets
halfway through baking, or until the cookies are set and just beginning to
crack. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10
minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat with the remaining dough using a fresh or cooled baking sheet.
Refrigerated dough stays fresh about a week, frozen dough three months.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.