Well this is a departure from my usual blog posts, but you know what? I’ve been thinking about things like this for a while. Memories from childhood. You know what I’m talking about… you catch a scent reminiscent from your childhood that instantly floods your senses with memories and simpler times. Apple pie does this… fresh bread does this… Turkey and dressing does this… on and on. Everyone has their own experiences and these smells may be different between people, but it is univrsal across the board… everyone has their own. As I fondly reflect on these simple things from my childhood, I reconnect with thoughts of family and friends and I thought I would share this recipe with you.
This recipe came from my Grandmother and it dates back to around 1900. Is it vintage and antique? I think both. I remember these cookies as a kid, my kids remember them from when they were kids, and my Grandkids will remember them when they are grown… Yep, they are that good. The recipe below is failsafe… follow the recipe and you will get a great cookie!
The basic recipe is as follows:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), you will need
2.5 cups (600ml) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons (2.5ml) baking soda
1/2 teaspoons (2.5ml) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons (2.5ml) ground cloves (optional)
2-5 tablespoons (30ml-45ml) ground ginger
1/2 cup (120ml) shortening
1/2 cup (120ml) sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) molasses
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
Cream shortening and sugar until light (well creamed)
Add baking soda to molasses, gently stir until mixture changes from dark molasses color to light cinnamon brown color (its like chemistry class!) this step takes a few minutes but is really important.
Add to creamed sugar and shortening and mix well.
Sift other dry ingrediants together. Gradually add dry ingrediants and add milk to the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly until a consistant dough is obtained.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
Place dough in refrigerator and allow to cool (approximately 10 minutes)
Shape dough into a cylinder 2-3 inch (50-75cm) in diameter and cut to desired thickness.
Place on greased cookie sheet and leave about 1/2 inch (12mm) between cookies. If you like, sprinkle a little granular sugar on top of the cookies (I’m good… no more sugar needed)
Bake for approximatey 10-12 minutes or until desired doneness
Let cool and enjoy!
I made a few minor changes to this batch and comment on the recipe, as I have my own taste preferences, but 1/2 inch (12mm) seems to be a good thickness for these cookies. Thinner cookies will cook crisper while thicker cookies will be chewy. You will notice that the recipe calls for 2-5 Tsp of ginger. Thats because this recipe is scalable. Add more or less ginger to taste. To intensify the flavor, add more ginger! Tone it down, add less! I prefer a bold ginger flavor so I use 5 Tsp. Another thing with this recipe… I omit the nutmeg. While nutmeg is included in many similar ginger cookie recipes, I don’t prefer the contrasting flavor of nutmeg and cinnamon, so I omit it in my cookies. Either way, its a good cookie so try it both ways!
Another great thing about these cookies is that they taste good fresh out of the oven, and the flavors will intensify overnight. Like all great recipes, these cookies taste as good or even better the next day!
Well, I got to go and make these cookies to take the blog pictures. Fresh baked ginger cookies… thats my reward… and my treat!
Tell me what you think!