‘Little House on the Prairie’: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Molasses Cookies Are the Perfect Snow Day Treat
Set in the 1870s, food isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when you consider Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie. The beloved narrative was brought to life on TV in the early ’70s. It ran for nine seasons until it was canceled.
A reboot of the series following Charles and Caroline and their three daughters Mary, middle daughter/narrator Laura, and youngest daughter Carrie is coming to the small-screen for a 21st-century audience.
In anticipation, you can step back into the Ingalls time with these molasses cookies, which are a perfect snow day treat.
Food was extremely important on ‘Little House on the Prairie’
From Ingalls memory about growing up on a farm, the food scenes in her Little House books were always extremely memorable. The Ingalls family made all of their food, including candy, treats, and so much more.
On the Little House on the Prarie TV series, food was also depicted. However, the food the actors had on set was far from homemade. “Dinty Moore canned stew, Pillsbury biscuits, pies from the local store, and Kentucky Fried Chicken,” Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura on the show told Parade. “I was always the first one eating the extra food. I would just gorge myself!”
In real life, food for the Ingalls was a bit harder to come by than that as they moved from Kansas, then the Minnesota plain, and into the Dakota Territory. Thankfully, there are some authentic gems from the Ingalls real-life that fans will undoubtedly found super delicious.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s molasses cookies ingredients
- 1 cup unsweetened grated or flaked coconut (fresh or dried)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp orange extract or grated orange zest (or sub 1 tsp vanilla)
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s molasses cookies instructions
To begin, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease your cookie sheets with unsalted butter. Next, grate your fresh coconut in a bowl (if using dried coconut, pour it into a bowl of cold water to let it rehydrate).
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Then beat in the eggs, followed by the molasses. Mix all of the dry ingredients before combining them with the wet ingredients. Add in the coconut flakes (draining the water if you used dried coconut first.) Add in the orange extract/zest. (This can be substituted with vanilla extract).
Using a large tablespoon, add the batter to the greased cookie sheets to save room so they can spread evenly. Place both cookie sheets in the oven, one on the top rack and one below. Bake for 8 minutes. Switch the cookie sheets and continue baking for 7 to 10 more minutes.
The cookies are done once you can gently press on the top of one, and the impression disappears. After the cookies are cooled, store them in a plastic ziplock bag or sealed Tupperware container.