Recipe for Moose Hunters written by my mother
I remember eating moose hunters as a child but my mother tells me she did not make them often and does not remember where her recipe came from. Our guess is this recipe came from my grandmother and the moose hunters I remember were likely baked and eaten at her house.
Molasses has long held an important place in Atlantic Canadian kitchens. Molasses and rum were traded in the Atlantic colonies for lumber, salt beef and salt fish. Sourced and processed in the West Indies by European colonialists, molasses was linked to slavery, settlement and survival. Eventually it came to be associated with the poor as it offered a cheap alternative to the refined white sugar preferred by the wealthy. Molasses was often spread on bread and eaten alongside or in lieu of a meal, and was baked into cookies, muffins and quick breads. In Newfoundland, Lassie Buns were made with pork fat and eaten by men who worked in the woods and on the water. Cape Breton hunters ate Moose Hunters which were also known as Fat Archies in some places.
I loved molasses as a child and ate it with bread, pancakes, and doughboys dropped into beef stew. I still prefer molasses over maple syrup when topping a stack of pancakes or eating baked beans. It’s been years since I have eaten moose hunters and I am hoping to create a gluten-free version of this traditional cookie recipe soon.
Moose Hunters1 cup brown sugar 1 cup butter softened 1 cup molasses 1/2 cup milk 2 tsp baking soda 1 egg 1 tsp ground ginger 3 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp salt 5 cups flour Combine brown sugar, butter, molasses, milk, baking soda and egg in large mixing bowl and set aside. Combine ginger, cinnamon, salt, and flour in separate mixing bowl. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Roll out and cut with a floured round cutter. I think my grandmother used a biscuit cutter. Using a small to medium width round drinking glass works just as well. Moose Hunters should be nice and thick so don’t roll the dough out too thin. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 12 minutes.