Joe Froggers are a traditional ginger molasses cookie from my hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Joe Froggers were made, originally, by Lucretia, the wife of “Black Joe” and served along with rum out of their tavern. Originally, these cookies were made with rum as well as molasses.
To quote Marblehead.org:
“A Joe Frogger is a ginger cookie that dates back to Colonial times. Joe Froggers have been cherished by generations of residents of Marblehead, Massachusetts. The cookies were originally baked by a man known as Old Black Joe Brown and an Aunt Crese, who maintained a tavern on Gingerbread Hill. Because the cookies would keep for long periods of time , fishermen would take barrels of Joe Froggers along with them on their journeys.”
I have just turned one of the traditional recipes into a gluten-free cookie. It’s already dairy-free and egg-free, so it’s a delicious, allergy-safe cookie. As you bake it, you can make them crisp or soft. I love them soft, but others prefer them crisp.
This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.
- 3/4 cup shortening (or butter or dairy-free margarine that has been softened)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour (or amaranth, or millet)
- 1/2 cups pea or bean flour (you could also use 1/2 cup more of the brown rice flour)
- 1 1/2 cups white rice flour or starch (tapioca, potato, arrowroot, etc)
- 1 TBS baking powder
- 1 TBS xanthan gum or guar gum
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2/3 cups water
Using a stand mixer, cream the shortening and butter. Once it’s creamed, mix in the molasses.
In a medium sized bowl, combine flour through ginger. Whisk it together so it’s well combined.
Alternate adding flour mixture and water into the creamed sugar in the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically as you add to the mixture.
Pat the mixture into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour.
Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out balls of dough and place on cookie sheet. Leave 1/2-1 inch of room between cookies, as these spread. Sprinkle a little sugar onto each cookie, and pat it down so it’s flattened a bit.
Bake at 350F for 8-12 minutes. Some people like their Joe Froggers hard, and some like them soft and chewy. The longer they cook, the harder they will be. I like them soft, so as soon as they are slightly browned on the edges, I take them out of the oven.
Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to cooling racks. Joe Froggers are delicate at first, but become very sturdy once they have cooled.