Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ginger Cookies with a Well-Worth-It Tummy-Ache

Now that the garden is essentially done I've got a little bit of time on my hands. The canning is basically done (except for a little bit of sauerkraut), the garden is mostly tucked away (except for the hoophouse), and the bulbs are planted (except for a few stray garlic bulbs that I still think I'm going to put in). What better time to bake?

As I perused my grandmother's Settlement Cookbook, I took down three recipes. One was for Chocolate Toffee Bars, and a second was for Ginger Cookies. My Grandma Wegner had an x by these, which means she used this recipe. My mother had no particular memory of them, but since I'm a big fan of molasses anything - cookies, gingerbread (nothing better with vanilla ice cream, oh my!) - I forged ahead.

These cookies did not disappoint. (The plate pictured above is the first of a few, and I don't want to discuss how many I really ate. Let's just say the voice of my Grandma Lambert saying "You're going to to get a tummy-ache." rang in my ears.) I don't actually like making cookies - too much work and I get a bit bored by the last tray meant for the oven which then burns - but I sometimes find a recipe I can't resist. And my efforts - actually paying attention to how long I left them in and keeping true to the recommended size - paid off. They are almost all gone now, but they were so lovely that snowy afternoon.

Ginger Cookies from The Settlement Cookbook, 1951.
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses (generous)
1 whole egg
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves

Cream butter and sugar, add egg, molasses, and the remaining dry ingredients, sifted together. Form into balls the size of a small walnut, roll in granulated sugar, place far apart on greased cookie sheet to allow for spreading. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

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