These clove-flavored cookies are a perfect addition to your holiday dessert rotation. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

These cookies are easy peasy and you can eat them by the handful. Well, only if mother lets you.

Imagine gingersnaps seasoned instead with cloves, round and crinkled on top with a little sugar sprinkled on. And since we are approaching the holidays you could make it a fancy sugar, like gold or big silvery crystals or even a holiday sprinkle.

My neighbor, Barbara Talamo, introduced me to these cookies. The recipe she used is a little too self-consciously detailed. I’ve streamlined it somewhat because really, it takes only moments to mix them.

The cookie size is flexible, too. A walnut-sized blob makes larger cookies, but fewer of them. Mine were smaller, as big as it gets when you take a table teaspoon and scoop up enough to fill the end. I flattened mine a little to make them easier to decorate. If you want, just leave them in blob form to bake. They don’t spread much, actually.

IfI have a slow moment or two, and I know I’ll be busy in days ahead, sometimes I’ll measure out and stash the dry ingredients in a container so I can just grab it and add it to the sugar and shortening mix, or in this case, oil, molasses and egg mixture. You’ve seen this dodge among suggested homemade gifts and in packages at the grocery store.

Mix them now and bake them later. Put the dough in a container in the fridge and bake a panful just when you need a cookie. Decorate them or not. To boost the clove factor, mix a little sugar and ground cloves together and sprinkle that on top before baking.

I made a little mistake with my test batch and sprinkled a peppermint-flavored red, green and white mix, which looked terrific but smelled funny — I stopped after about five cookies and looked at the package. Uh oh. I bet some youngster would like it. I’ll have to look for an unflavored festive mix.

Clove Cookies

Makes about five dozen 2-inch cookies.

2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 cup sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup molasses
1 egg

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spread parchment paper on a couple of cookie sheets.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves and set aside.

Beat together the sugar, vegetable oil and molasses until everything is completely incorporated.

Beat in the egg.

Add the flour mixture and beat until the dough is quite stiff, about two minutes with an electric beater.

Drop balls of dough on your cookie sheets in whatever size you prefer, allowing them to spread at least 2 inches.

Bake for about 14 minutes, but check at 12 in case your oven is faster. The cookies will be brown, flat and have a crinkled texture.

Cool and store in a tightly covered container.

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Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...