Plantation Spice Cookies


Plantation spice cookies These Plantation Spice Cookies are one of my very most favorite cookies and are straight from “Julia Child & More Company” with minor changes. I love the crackle finish on these best of all spice cookies.

Several weeks ago I posted some of my favorite books from which I learned to bake. This recipe for spice cookies  was among my favorites.

These cookies will have crisp edges but will be soft in the centers if not overbaked. It is important to double pan these cookies as they feature molasses which tends to over brown the bottoms as you can see in this photo.  The cookie on the left was baked on a single pan and is close to burning.  The plantation spice cookie on the right was double panned and is the same color as the top.The bottoms of the plantation spice cookies.

Plantation Spice Cookies
1 1/4 cups salted peanuts, divided (140 grams or 5 ounces)
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided (265 grams or 9 1/3 ounces)
1 1/2 sticks butter (170 grams or 6 ounces)
1 egg
1/3 cup dark molasses
2 cups all purpose flour (280 grams or 10 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets, double pan.

Place the peanuts in a food processor. Pulse to coarsely chop. Remove 1/2 cup and set aside. To the remaining peanuts in the processor, add 1/3 cup of the sugar and pulse to finely chop the peanuts. Remove to a bowl. Set aside.

Cream the butter, sugar and 1/2 cup chopped peanuts until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, followed by the molasses. Scrape often.

In the meantime, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add to the creamed mixture and beat until well combined.

These can be shaped by rolling about a tablespoon of dough into a ball then rolling it in the peanut/sugar mixture. Place 9 equally spaced on a half sheet pan as these will flatten and spread. Double pan.

Alternately, (and this is the method I use), scoop the dough with a #40 disher or scooper, scraping it off well. Finish as above.

Bake for 9 minutes on the center rack, turn the pan and bake for 3 to 5 minutes more.

They will have flattened out, have a crackle finish and be slightly puffy. Cool slightly and remove to cooling racks.

Approximately 30 Plantation Spice cookies.Plantation spice cookies

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5 thoughts on “Plantation Spice Cookies

  1. ellen graves

    These are an old favourite of mine, from ‘JC & more Company’. I can’t wait to try them again using this recipe. Your tips – in this case double-panning – are soooo good! You never ever seem to do what lots of cookery writers do, even some very good ones, and recycle baking truisms which have simply never been tested.
    By the way we’ve had visitations of grandchildren (and their parents of course) for 2 months on and off, and all of them have raved about the wonderful marbled sugar cookies. They adore them with the icing of course but everybody loves them without icing too, a real tribute to their excellence. I’ve been using a cheap but metal set of cutters in zoo shapes – giraffes etc. I’m about to request an early christmas prezzie of a rolling pin I saw on Amazon which has some kind of gadget to keep rolling even, highly recommended by other customers.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Ellen – You are so gracious. Thanks so much. When I had the bakery, I had close to a thousand cookie cutters. My husband used to say I never saw a cookie cutter I didn’t buy and he was right! How wonderful you had your grandchildren around so long. My Chicago family came in a week ago just for a couple of days. I had a party for them and ended up inviting 30 people. I forgot how much work it was to cook for 30 people. But everyone had so much fun it was well worth it. My grandsons were duly impressed. They are growing so fast – I’m sure you have the same problem.

  2. Manisha

    This is for the first time I am commenting on a blogpost without reading it completely. I got so happy just reading the ingredients list that I switched directly to comments section. I love their crackled look and can imagine the goodness of molasses and peanuts together. I am planning to replace half butter with vegetable shortening to help them stay crisp for longer time.

    Many thanx for this recipe

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Manisha – You are too funny! I often replace half the butter in cookies to help them keep their shape. I didn’t consider Julia a great baker, but she taught many of us desserts we never heard of and gave us the confidence we could do them. These cookies are number one among molasses cookies for me. I love the crackled look in cookies. I am working on a really lemony cookie that I hope crackles like these do. Haven’t started yet – just an idea on a piece of paper.

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