Preheat over to 375º.
Mix sugar and butter with a hand mixer till fluffy. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix by hand. It gets pretty thick, so I literally use my hands to mix.
Spoon by large tablespoon full onto cookie sheet. Press down to flatten and sprinkle a bit of sugar on top of each cookie.
Bake for about 14 minutes, they will be soft, so scoop them off the cookie sheet carefully.
You can make these vegan by substituting a different shortening for the butter. You can also omit the rum if you don’t want to use it.
Makes about 17 cookies about 2 inches wide. Each cookie has around 130 calories. The whole batch is 2210 calories, divide accordingly based on how many cookies you make.
These cookies are delicious, they have a burnt caramel flavor from the molasses. And they have a unique history. Here is some info from wikipedia:
Joe Froggers are named for Joseph Brown (1750-1834), the keeper of Black Joe’s Tavern in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The cookies were invented by Brown’s wife, Lucretia Thomas Brown (1772-1857), who worked at the tavern.
Joseph Brown was a freed former slave, born to an African-American mother and a Wampanoag father. Lucretia Brown was the daughter of two former slaves. In 1795, Joseph and Lucretia Brown went in with another couple on the purchase of a saltbox house at the top of Gingerbread Hill in Marblehead, next to a mill pond. Eventually they bought out the other couple. The house was both their residence and the site of their tavern. Black Joe’s Tavern was known as a racially integrated gathering place for hard-drinking fishermen.
There are many different stories about how the cookies came to be called Froggers. According to some sources, they were named for the froglike shape the batter would form when it hit the hot iron skillet. According to others, they were named for the frogs in the nearby mill pond. The name may be a misspelling or a play on “Joe Floggers,” which were a kind of pancake, also used as a ship’s provision.