My Mother’s Ginger Cookies –


Except that they aren’t. These are really a variation on soft molasses cookies. That’s what kept driving me nuts over the years. I made these with my mother when I was young and have never been able to duplicate them since (until now). Mother was from Kentucky and these may be what Louisville people called ginger cookies, but they are not like the normal ginger cookie. I know. I’ve tried all kinds of ginger cookie variations and they were never right. Good, maybe, but not what I was looking for.

Anyway, try these. They’re rather good.

1 stick shortning – can be butter flavor or plain (1 cup)
210 g sugar (1 cup)
1 beaten egg
400 g all-purpose flour (2-1/2 cups)
350 g molasses (1 cup)
4 g salt (1/2 tsp)
9 g soda (2 tsp)
3 g cinnamon (1 tsp)
3 g cloves (1 tsp)
3 g ground ginger (1 tsp)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cream the shorting and sugar. Beat in the egg and molasses. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

You can skip the cinnamon and cloves if that’s not to your taste.

Traditionally, chill the dough, roll thin on a floured surface, then cut out with a cookie cutter. Place on a greased cookie sheet.

That’s too much fuss for me. I don’t fool with the chilling bit. I just drop tablespoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheet (doesn’t need greasing if non-stick type), then kind of pat flat with my greasy fingers. Works just fine.

Somewhere around 10 minutes in the oven, then let them cool on the sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Don’t burn them. The molasses makes them kind of touchy.


Herself Sez: OMG These are good! Although my little Gam was from Kentucky, too, she didn’t make anything like these – she wasn’t from Louisville – she was from the Eastern Mountains – Pulaski County. So the foodways and traditions were somewhat different.

She was a good cook, and I still am trying to find her cookie recipes for a date-spice drop cookie and an almond-pecan icebox cookie. Both are delicious. She only made them at Christmas time. {{SIGH}} I don’t know what was wrong with me – when she was alive and “with it,” it didn’t occur to me to get those recipes and some others that are very important and precious to me now. But isn’t it always the way??

But the Ol’ Curmudgeon has successfully reconstructed his mother’s “ginger” cookies. They are delicious. Not crisp, but soft and chewy. Uuuuuuuum!


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