Historically, the economy of Newfoundland included a vibrant trade of the then plentiful salt cod stocks with other countries who in turn, provided us with their exports of sugar, dry fruits and nuts, coffee, molasses and rum. And so, in turn for providing the world with the basis of many wonderful Bacalao variations, my ancestors in Newfoundland were able to bake up many ‘lassy filled treats, studded with nuts and fruits and flavored with many wonderful things.
And for me, nothing really beats my mother’s molasses buns or bread, figgy duff or something like bangbelly. Toutons and molasses, dark fruit cakes, those are all my thing. I think maybe as a native Newfoundlander, I may even have a little molasses coarsing through my veins! (sure would explain why I’m a slowpoke some days)
So it would come as no surprise that I also love a good spicy, chewy molasses cookie, and this one was inspired by all the good things that came to us Newfoundlanders from that historical trade.
And while everything in these cookies is above board of course, they are so named rum runners as these tasty cookies and their ingredients are sneakily hidden away under cover of darkness……..a drizzle of rum-infused dark chocolate ganache that is ;)
On to the recipe!
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 3 tbsp. dark rum
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. ground coffee
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- 2 tsp rum extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 1/2 tbsp. whipping cream
- 1 tbsp. dark rum
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
Begin by combining raisins with the 3 tbsp. rum. Cover and set aside for several hours or overnight to allow the raisins to absorb the liquid.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment.
In your mixer bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. In a seperate bowl, whisk together molasses, vinegar, both coffees, rum extract and the eggs. With mixer on low setting, slowly pour the molasses mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until combined.
Sift together flour, baking soda and spices. Add this to the mixer bowl and mix until the dough is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips, pecans and raisins including any unabsorbed liquid.
Roll the cookie dough into balls and place on cookie sheet, allowing room between them for the dough to spread. I had about 6 per cookie sheet, using 2-3 tablespoons of dough as I wanted larger cookies. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden, give or take a minute depending on the size of your cookies. Remove to a cooling rack, parchment and all. Cookies will be puffed and soft upon removal from oven, but will crackle their tops slightly as they settle and cool. Repeat until all dough is used, yeilding about 32 large cookies.
When cookies are fully cooled, warm the whipping cream and chocolate in the microwave at one minute intervals, until the chocolate can be fully whisked into the cream. Whisk in the tablespoon of dark rum, then drizzle this mixture over top of cooled cookies. Allow the chocolate to harden before transferring cookies to a sealed container.
*NOTE: if you are making these for the younger set or want to omit the alcohol altogether, you can opt to soak the raisins in water with a teaspoon of rum extract and omit the rum from the chocolate topping.