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Monday 12 November 2012

Chewy Treacle Spice Cookies

 I'm not suggesting you eat this many cookies at once. Honestly.

I think I remember once reading an article about how Tina Turner starts every day off by chanting and that she thinks that's what keeps her (and her legs) looking young and in tip-top condition. Or maybe that's what she says in What's Love Got To Do With It. I can't be sure.

It's odd what comes to your mind while you sit waiting for your computer's anti-virus to update 'quickly' and 'hassle-free'. (Ha! Whatever. I've been here hours and am sick of restarting...)

That's a harrowing film in some parts by the way. Not Sunday afternoon viewing, that's for sure.

Anyway, the chanting. The chanting is related to today's post. Do me a favour? Repeat after me:

"My mixer is powerful. It must be used with care."

Chant it. Feel it.

It's not just Tina who needs to start the day off right. If you aren't careful, and don't keep the speed low, your stand mixer will chuck sugar all over the place when you start to make these cookies. If you're not actually using a mixer, well, you can skip the chant if you wish. You'll be just fine, although your elbows won't thank you.

It came upon me, last week, as I put together the little menu at the side over there to help visitors to this site better find what they are looking for (in the middle of a sleepless night, without the heating on - I hope someone actually uses the thing!), that we don't have enough cookie recipes around here. Keen to put this right, I'm offering these in some ways seasonal treats. They were born out of a cupboard clear out, but I am beginning to think they might be the best cookies I've ever made.

I wanted to make a treacle toffee flavoured biscuit. I missed Bonfire Night this year, and thus got no toffees. I'm not going to lie, the first week of November was as a result tinged with a certain melancholy, but I managed, luckily, to pull myself together, put on my best heels and find for myself the happiness I was seeking in the bottom of my mixing bowl.

The answer is always in baking, my people. Always.

Just treacle, though, seemed a little dull as far as flavour was concerned. I know there will be those of you who are waiting for me to say that I added chocolate to the mix, and will be upset that I didn't. But I say to thee, and not for the first time, that chocolate is over-rated; I find it difficult to get excited about.

Spice though, drives me wild. There's a moment in the making of this cookie dough (when you add the dry ingredients at the end) that scents the air so strongly with the fragrance of brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves that it is just... Indecent. I nearly passed out.

I've had these knocking around in the tin for a week now (the recipe makes around 30 cookies) and can confirm that not only do they keep very well, they actually improve with age. So I'd say you need to plan your cookie craving about three to four days in advance.

That will be all. Thank you.

Chewy Treacle Spice Cookies

You will need:

125g butter
200g granulated sugar (plus a little extra for later, around 50g will do)
120g soft dark brown sugar
2 eggs
150g treacle
250g self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a large bowl, and use a wooden spoon - I'll award you 5 old skool cool points accordingly), put the butter and sugars. Mix on low speed until smooth. There's a lot of sugar so it won't turn creamy, but you do want everything to cohere.
  2. Add the eggs and treacle; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until thoroughly combined.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and add them, a scoop at a time, to the treacle mixture, beating on low speed the whole time.
  4. The dough will be very soft. Chill in the fridge for an hour (or overnight, or for up to three days, if you'd rather spread the process over several days) to firm slightly.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line two baking trays with parchment. Form balls of dough about the size of a golf ball and roll in the extra granulated sugar (you could add a little cocoa to it if you wanted a gentle chocolate flavour as well as the spice); bake well spaced apart on the baking sheets for 16 minutes or until the centres are set. Cool completely on the baking trays.
  6. Store airtight. Will keep for up to a week, no problem.


  1. Just discovered your blog thru the Woman and Home piece. Congrats on that - and your cookies look divine!!

  2. They sound amazing. I'm so much about the treacle and spice at the moment. Am bookmarking these to make ASAP.

  3. Could you please explain to me what treacle is? I must admit, the first time I ever heard of treacle was when I read the first Harry Potter book and a treacle tart was part of the school's start of term feast. We don't have anything called treacle in the States so I have zero frame of reference.

  4. [Note to azurepenguin: Treacle is what we in the states call molasses.] Mr. P, these are very similar to my Molasses Ginger Cookies, which I am going to quickly rename (at least in a subtitle) Chewy Treacle Spice Cookies! Love the photos!

  5. AHHHH!!! So treacle is just molasses...I wonder if a treacle tart would be similar to shoefly pie. Time to consult my nutritional anthropology resources. Thank you, Jean

  6. These sound great - I am always thinking I need something to use up the treacle that would otherwise sit in the cupboard for five years! And I love my cookies chewy too.

  7. Back to the topic of...Lamingtons. I just found this site. Very excited to try these. Does anyone know how well they freeze?

    1. Perfectly. Either baked, or after rolling in sugar. You can then bake from frozen.


That's what he said.

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