Memories of molasses and ginger

I come from a Christmas Cookie baking family – on my mother’s side.

I can never remember a year of Mom’s life when there were not crisp, thin, cut out sugar cookies – “plain” and with variations of flavor: coconut, black walnut or anise. It was her mother’s recipe, passed around that large family.

I do remember my Grandmother Amelia with plates of cookies. Hers were thicker and cut with very old fashioned cutters but the lovely taste was the same. One Christmas, her platter included brown cut out cookies. I expected a treat – perhaps chocolate… Oh my. So bitter. So very nasty.

oak leaves

Whenever I find the leaves of the Chestnut oak with their rounded lobes, so like that cookie cutter, I remember those brown leaf-shaped Ginger cookies! A survey of my siblings revealed we all remember them, and we all thought they were terrible!

My husband’s Aunt Dolly once returned from a visit to a cousin’s and brought this ginger cookie recipe to our home for a baking session. I’ve made this recipe for many years now; these cookies are delicious with fruit and I make them year round.

ginger cookie recipe

When I make them, I use Grandma’s® Original Molasses. Their Gingerbread is another favorite with family and guests. One Christmas, my niece made these cute little houses for dessert. Gingerbread houseWe were inspired by some at  King Arthur Flour, another pantry staple for me.

It is fun to have memories of a distant time and place triggered by something as simple as a pile of leaves from the park! I’m sure you have some small memory triggers too.IMG_7048

3 thoughts on “Memories of molasses and ginger

  1. Cathy

    I love your memory even though it is a “bitter” one. I only have a few memories of my grandparents as far as actual stories go. I thought your leaves were cookies ☺︎ so it was rather funny to discover they weren’t! I felt I was experiencing what you felt when you bit into your grandmother’s bitter cookies — disappointment — because they sure looked pretty as cookies. That cake house is darling that your niece created. I’d think everyone had a hard time demolishing them.

    1. Elaine Post author

      Such a fun comment Cathy! The first Christmas after we were married, we lived at my Mother-in-law’s house. She made brown cut-out cookies. Not Ginger! Delicious brown sugar cookies that she called Sand Tarts. I have made them, but like my Mom’s family sugar cookies, the dough requires more time and patience than I usually want to give. I do make lots of cut out cookies but not those old recipes. Sadly, no one has Grandmother Amelia’s ginger cookie recipe. I would love to have a copy, just for fun!

Comments are closed.