Soft Molasses Cookies
Molasses cookies are surely the most ubiquitous cookie in any New England cookbook you happen to leaf through. They're more venerable than those newcomers, Toll House (chocolate chip) cookies which, after all, are only about 85 years old.
The addition of rum to these spicy cookies helps keep them soft, and also qualifies them for a special name: Joe Froggers. Legend has it that an old man named Joe, who lived by a frog pond in Marblehead, Massachusetts, was famous for his chewy molasses cookies. One day, in thanks to a neighbor for the gift of a jug of rum, he added some of that spirit to a batch of his molasses cookie dough, then gave the cookies to the generous neighbor. Eureka! A rum-laced molasses cookie that quickly earned a great reputation around town and was christened with the name of its creator.