Introduction: Joe Frogger's Cookies, C. 1800

Picture of Joe Frogger's Cookies, C. 1800

Joe Froggers, c. 1800

In Marblehead, Mass., Joe Frogger cookies have been a prized sweet for generations . They are large ginger cookies first baked by a man known as Old Black Joe Brown and his wife Lucretia, known as Aunty Crese. Joe was a soldier in the American Revolution. After the war, he and his wife ran a tavern on Gingerbread Hill near a small pond filled with frogs. Hence the name ‘Joe Frogger.’ The cookies kept for a long time, and sailors and fishermen took barrels of Joe Froggers with them on their voyages.

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

3½ cups flour

1½ teaspoons salt

1½ teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon allspice

1 cup molasses

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons dark rum

1/3 cup hot water

Step 2: Flour Mixture

Picture of Flour Mixture

1. Add 3 1/2 cups to a medium bowl

2. To that add 1 1/2 tsp of salt

3. Then add 1 1/2 tsp of ground ginger

4. Finally, add 1 tsp of baking soda and combine everything thoroughly.

Step 3: Spices!

Picture of Spices!

1. Add 1/2 tsp ground cloves

2. Add 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

3. Add 1/4 tsp Allspice

4. Combine everything

5. A whisk works even better. : )

Step 4: Molasses, Butter, Sugar

Picture of Molasses, Butter, Sugar

1. In a large bowl add 1 cup of Molasses

2. Drop in a stick of unsalted butter

3. To that add 1 cup of brown sugar

4. Combine thoroughly, using a whisk and spatula, but best to just use a wooden spoon.

Step 5: Combine Wet and Dry

Picture of Combine Wet and Dry

1. Add 1 cup of flour mixture to the bowl of molasses/butter/sugar.

2. combine the two tbsp of rum with 1/3 cup hot water.

3. Add some of that to the large bowl mix that you just added a cup of flour into.

4. Continue to alternate adding flour and rum/water, blending between additions.

5. Finally, form into large dough ball.

6. Flatten out a bit, cover with saran, label and place into fridge.

Step 6: Roll Out Dough, Form Cookies

Picture of Roll Out Dough, Form Cookies

1. Gather everything you need:

  • Chilled dough, removed from fridge 30-45 prior to use
  • rolling pin
  • rolling surface(I like to use a pizza stone - works great!)
  • glass or round cookie cutter
  • small amount of flour for dipping cutter into
  • Parchment lined cookie sheet(s)
  • wire rack for cooling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Roll out dough to 3/8 - 1/2" thick

3. Dip cutter into flour and form cookies

4. Cookie shapes!

Step 7: Sprinkle and Bake

Picture of Sprinkle and Bake

1. Place formed cookies on lined tray and sprinkle with white sugar

2. Bake for 10 minutes

3. Cool on wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Store in a airtight container.

Step 8: Gift It!

Picture of Gift It!

This was the second cookie installment in my Yankee Holiday Cheer Package.

I found some cute fabric with ice-skaters on them, imagining that this was the Pond next to Joe's Tavern during the Wintertime. : )

I wrapped two cookies with waxed paper, covered with the Ice-skater fabric. I attached the Joe Froggers story with some kitchen twine(looks like skate laces!) and placed them next to my First American Cookey bundle. (That recipe can be found here):


KookyKreations (author)2017-12-18

They sound great and I really like your gift presentation. Molasses cookies are a favorite of mine.

4DIYers (author)2017-12-17

Save some for me!

About This Instructable




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