Friday, December 8, 2017

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Baby it's cold outside, but warm in here! Why? Because I am busy baking my Grandpa's favorite Cookies! I have to took awhile to dig out the years! Why? I really don't know for sure, but today when I opened Grandma's recipe box and found her family favorite donut recipe I broke down and bawled and bawled. We'll save that one for another day. 

For today we'll focus on one of the cookie recipes that my grandfather was known for. Ginger Cookies...or was it Molasses Cookies...or???? I remembered them as ginger snaps, and so did my sister, but when I found that recipe it called for sorghum. That just didn't seem quite right. I was younger, but I know I remember seeing a molasses jar on the counter, and the smell was distinctly different than sorghum! So I called for further reinforcements... my parents! They remember the cookies well, and remember them being called molasses cookies, and evidently my sister and I adopted the incorrect name and our grandparents never had the heart to tell us otherwise! So then the search continued through the box, and I had it narrowed down to 4 recipes. This is when I got out the big guns and called my aunt. She was most familiar with the recipe box and would be sure to know the one to choose! We decided that it must've been Aunt Lissie's Ginger Molasses Cookies! Yeah....I have a recipe, so join me as I make these delicious treats for the first time.... without grandpa by my side. (Well actually...I was by his! I'd sit in the yellow chair and watch him dump and stir and roll and bake.)  He did all this for others rarely eating any, so faithful to his diabetic restrictions!

First let's gather all the ingredients and supplies!(Yes, I forgot to get the salt when preparing my ingredients....oops!)  You'll need Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Shortening, Molasses, Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger, and an egg. (My eggs came from my back yard....gosh I love having chickens and ducks on the farm!)

I'm sure that you could easily mix these by hand, but if you have a mixer, why not use it. And mine...well...I must use it, especially today, as it was my Grandfather's mixer. So here I am, in my kitchen, making grandpa's recipe with grandpa's mixer. Wow...let's take a moment to let that sink in!
Alright, it's time to blend the wet ingredients. This is your Shortening, sugar ( I know not wet now, but actually makes for a wet ingredient), molasses, and egg.  (If you have a rooster in the hen house, or a lazy day when somebody forgets to gather each day, you may want to break your egg into a separate bowl first.)
Once completely combined stop the mixer and grab your sifter and bowl to sift all the dry ingredients in. Sifting all dry ingredients together will make for a fluffier cookie and a smoother texture! Tee tee hee.... I just love that silly mound that you get when you sift! I can't say I've seen one quite like this before! 
Slowly add the dry to the wet and mix till incorporated!  I added this part!  I have learned from experience that if you dump all the dry ingredients in at once you are more likely to not get a well mixed dough, but even more memorable was the flour cloud that exploded all over my kitchen!
Roll into walnut sized balls. For me, I grabbed a medium sized kitchen scoop to make life a bit easier.  Absolutely not necessary, but it makes the process go much faster, and your cookies will look more uniform in size!
Take your ball and roll into sugar. I used 1/2 c. but could've gotten away with much less!  I am allowing myself the waste this time as I was probably 7 the last time I had seen these made.  Next time I'll know better, lol!
After filling one tray I realized that I was going to barely get over 2 dozen, and Lissie's recipe estimated 4 1/2 dozen so grabbed the small kitchen scoop to finish out the batch. (I'm thinking Aunt Lissie had small walnuts in her yard!)
When baking I noticed the bigger ones cracked like my grandpas did, so I guess grandpa thought they should be bigger too!  Small ones are on the left, the bigger ones are on the right.  (Umm... they baked up the same color, guess I need to work on my lighting and photography skills, huh?) last little tip for you... grandma always placed a slice of bread in with her cookies when she stored them! Keeps them fresher longer!  Although I don't imagine they will last very long, as they are a deliciously unique cookie that you will want to snack on!
Yup, these look, smell, and even taste like grandpa's cookies! I sure do miss my grandparents, but so glad I have these great memories and moments in time to look back and smile at our time together! Little things like the smell of perfume, color of a flower, taste of a favorite dish, or handwritten notes mean so much! Thanks for joining along on my trip through the recipe box, and encouraging me to get grandpas mixer out and make his cookies to share with friends and family, because he certainly did!
And here is where you find my recipe along with links to those participating in this cookie exchange! Happy Baking!

Ginger Molasses Cookies
3/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. molasses
1 egg
Sift then add 
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
Roll into small balls and dip in sugar and put on greased cookie sheet. Do not flatten them. Bake 10-12 min @ 350

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  1. Those sound so wonderful! It sounds like just what I need to kick me into the Christmas spirit! I think I’ll make some of these with my daughter when she gets home from college. Thank you for sharing your recipe and your memories!

    1. I’d love to hear what you and your daughter think of them!

  2. They sound so good, Angela! I know, my Christmas cookie recipes are sentimental too. And I smiled a wistful smile when you said your Grandpa was faithful to his diabetic diet, my father was too: absolutely faithful. Thank you for the good memories.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story along with the recipe!