Shoofly Cookies

When Strudel suggested a cookie month, I knew I had tons of cookbooks in my kitchen that I could search for a cookie to reinvent.  Then a friend at work really needed cheering up this week and her favorite thing that I make (she even requested it for her birthday) is Amish Shoofly Cake.  I thought converting this cake to cookies would be a nice way to end her week AND a fun experiment for me.

I’ve never converted a cake to a cookie before BUT ages ago I did a very brief series called “Science of…” here on the blog and remembered that I did a Science of Cookies post, so I looked to it for guidance.  Voila! Shoofly Cookies were successfully created and loved by everyone at work.  Also, my friend was a little bit happier after eating a few of these cakey cookies with her morning coffee!

If you look at the Shoofly Cake recipe you’ll see that it is very liquidy when you bake it so I knew that was the biggest hurdle I had to overcome.  I also needed to be able to maintain the molasses flavor that is the hallmark of the cake.  The key was lessening the liquid, adding an egg and refrigerating the dough overnight.  My favorite part of the cake is the crumb topping so I wanted to try keeping that topping on the cookie too.  I also tried not putting the crumb on and just rolling the whole cookie in sugar.  Both versions received approving remarks but ultimately everyone said they liked the crumb topped cookies better.


Shoofly Cookies

makes about 3 dozen cookies


4 c. flour

2 c. packed dark brown sugar

1 c. salted butter, cut into chunks and room temperature

1 c. boiling water

1/2 c. molasses

1 t. baking soda

1 egg

extra white sugar for rolling cookies in, if preferred

Combine the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for a minute or until combined.  Pull out 1  c. of this mixture and set aside.  In a separate microwave safe bowl boil the cup of water.  Remove from the microwave and add the molasses and baking soda.  Use a bowl that allows at least 2 inches of head space.  When the baking soda is added the mixture will bubble up.

Add this liquid mixture to the stand mixer with the flour mixture and mix on slow speed until combined.  Add the egg and beat in until combined as well.  The batter will be slightly more runny than what you would expect for a cookie!  Don’t worry, cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight.  Refrigerate the cup of leftover crumb mixture as well.

The next day pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit  and scoop tablespoon size balls of dough and roll in white sugar.  Bake these cookies for about 8 minutes or until puffed up.  Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing from the sheet to the cooling rack.

Alternatively, create larger sized balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons), flatten slightly on the baking sheet and press a small amount of the crumb mixture right onto the top.  It will look messy but don’t worry.  Also don’t fret when crumbs are surrounding the cookie on the sheet, most will stick to the edge and be very tasty when eaten!  Bake these cookies for about 10 minutes or until puffy and set in the middle.  Likewise let these cookies sit on the baking sheet a few minutes after removing from the oven.  Then transfer to the cooling rack.

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