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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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!
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):