Family traditions move to the mountains!

the famous Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman Inn Molasses Cookie

Today we had a pretty fabulous day- our new metal roof was completed, the painters start tomorrow AND I made a batch of our treasured Molasses Cookie to share with the roofing crew and a neighbors. It’s the first batch made since selling the inn.

The history of our Molasses Cookie

Jennifer House Commons
Jennifer House Commons

Thought it would be fun to share the history of this cookie and hard to believe Nanna and I have made thousands of these cookies over the years for our friends and guests. It all started when I was a little girl back in the Berkshires. We frequented the Jennifer House General Store to buy a bag of these cookies whenever I could persuade my mom to stop. The recipe was always kept secret and were made by local woman in their homes. They had to sign a contract that they would not share the recipe. Fast forward 20 years- my mom started dating the next door neighbor after my dad passed away. He previously was dating one of the gals that made the cookies- YES- she shared the recipe and he shared it with us. We made several batches that upcoming Christmas and gave them to our coworkers, family and friends.

When we purchased our first inn it seemed like a natural that we would make this our House Cookie and we always said the cookie jar was bottomless unless you raided us when we were sleeping. We have been making these cookies for over 20 years now, even having a contest about where our Cookie Traveled.

We love our cookie and have heard so many thank you’s over the years. I decided when setting up our new kitchen that I did not want a lot of gadgets as we are striving for a simpler life. I must say having a stand mixer makes mixing the dough easier, although I did just fine. They freeze really well too and I like having them available when unexpected guests arrive- especially the little ones.


Molasses Cookies

These cookies are old fashion and a show stopper every time we make them. They are especially good straight out of the oven when they are warm
Prep Time 2 hrs
Servings 5 dozen cookies


  • 1 lb Unsalted Butter room temperature and cubed (4 sticks)
  • 1/2 teasp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar packed
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 6 3/4 cups flour, unbleached
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 3 eggs large
  • 3/4 cups molasses
  • 1/4 cup water


  • In a large bowl ( or in a stand mixer bowl if you have one) cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the molasses and water and mix well. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and spices. Add slowly to the butter mixture until well blended. If you are doing this by hand it does take persistence and strength to get it thoroughly mixed. Place dough in the frig overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350. Using an ice cream scoop roll into balls. You can make them any size you want. Then roll each cookie in granulated sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.

Experienced Innkeepers share their recipes

After having settled into our retirement in our new home in North Carolina is seemed like a natural to form a new inn keeping consulting business to help other inn keepers. We ran two successful inns for over 17 years and have the knowledge what makes the cash register ring- even during these Covid times when guests are more cautious.

Call us today for a free visit where we can evaluate your needs to make your bed and breakfast the absolute best in your area!


2 responses to “Family traditions move to the mountains!”

  1. Hi Donna and Byron….couldn’t resist responding as I have not seen Jennifer House for so many years! What a fun trip down memory lane. Nothing could ever be better than when you sent your house cookies home with your guests. Ours never made it home! They were so delicious! I recently made your raspberry bars. They always remind me of the warm welcome you gave…no matter which inn it was. We were so lucky to have stayed with you at your wonderful inns! My Captain Freeman Cookbook is never far! We hope you are well and happy! Love the blog…Pam and Bill

    • Hello there dear friends,
      How nice to hear from you and glad you like the new blog. We are having so much fun with it and life is just different when we have more time on our hands to think straight. Hope you are well and that you are able to see your family through these crazy times. We are driving this next week to visit our daughter and family in Dallas. We’ve figured out how to do it in one day with McDonalds pit stops as Byron likes their hamburgers and fries and Donna likes the clean bathrooms. Love to you both.

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