Joe Froggers

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

Many of the modern Joe Frogger recipes use vegetable shortening, but personally I prefer butter (and I doubt Aunt Crese ever used vegetable shortening). I adapted the recipe from the town of Marblehead's official site and tweaked the seasoning to make a truly bold cookie, one with sea legs.

Joe Froggers

About This Recipe

Active time:1 hour
Total time:3 hours (includes chilling time)
Special equipment:electric mixer, parchment paper
This recipe appears in: American Classics: Joe Froggers


  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup molasses (mild or robust)


  1. 1

    In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.

  2. 2

    In a small bowl, mix together rum, water, vanilla, salt, and ground ginger. Stir until salt is dissolved. Set aside.

  3. 3

    In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in molasses, mixing until fully incorporated. Slowly add in flour mixture alternating with the rum mixture, scraping down sides with each addition until both are fully incorporated. Gather cookie dough into two balls and flatten into disks. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

  4. 4

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare several cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness—be careful not to overwork the dough. Using the lid of a coffee can (standard size, not jumbo) cut out cookies and fit three to a sheet, providing at least an inch between cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes—edges will begin to brown but the cookies will still be slightly soft in the middle. Cool completely on a wire rack.


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