I apologize for the delay between posts–right before Sammy’s big birthday party, and right as my in laws rolled into town, I got bronchitis. Which eventually cleared up but turned into a sinus infection. Thank goodness for my in laws, who basically threw Sammy’s party for her while I hid in the bedroom. And thank goodness for my family, who were still willing to come even though most of them are germaphobic (with good reason–we definitely attract the microbes in my family). But it’s been a rough week.
Yet appropriately timed. My mom had been planning to visit me for part of this week already, so instead she came for the whole week, while John was at a conference. She did everything–and when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING, in a way that has not been done for me since immediately after Sammy was born. She even chaperoned Alex’s field trip to a pumpkin patch–and took Sammy with her as well. She went above and beyond–while I mostly moaned, grumped and slept. I cannot recall the last time I slept so much during the day.
She also made me gingersnaps.
Our family’s gingersnaps are famous both within our family and outside of it as well. They do not bear much resemblance to the pale, snappy crunchy gingersnaps in the grocery store–it was not until I went off to college and someone asked me where is the snap in your family’s gingersnaps that it occurred to me our gingersnaps are not exactly gingernsaps. Chewy, thick and craggy-crinkly, these cookies are rich with molasses and warm, autumnal spices. I guess I cannot speak for the boys, but my sister and I know how to make them–and no matter how many times I make them, they still taste better when my mom makes them. The recipe originates with my mother’s maternal grandmother, but to me they are my mother’s gingersnaps.
These cookies travel exceptionally well. She sent them to us kids when we were in college and camps, and she has sent them to the troops in the Middle East (where they were so famous they sewed an American flag for her, flew it in the face of the enemy, dedicated it, and sent it to her!). They are probably the most oft requested recipe that our family makes. They are also my better late than never submission to October’s Family Recipes, hosted this month by myself. Due to the events of the past week, the round up might be a little late, but I will get it done, I promise!
(That would be my Great Grandma Laura on my mom’s side)
1 1/2 cups shortening (I have subbed lard in which case use a little less lard)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
4 cups flour (scooped)
2 t cloves
2 t ground ginger
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
2 t baking soda
Additional sugar for rolling–coarseness is up to you
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone (or grease if you prefer).
Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the eggs and molasses and beat until well combined.
Meanwhile, whisk together all of the dry ingredients, including the spices. Add to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. These cookies can be made any size–just bake longer for bigger cookies. Scoop out the size of cookie you want and roll it in the sugar; we have always used granulated white sugar, but as an adult I have successfully experimented with sanding sugar, turbinado, and coarse decorating sugar. Place on the cookie sheet; repeat until the sheet is filled, keeping dough about 2 inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes for smaller cookies, longer for larger.
That Girl says
I've never seen gingersnaps with so much sugar! They look fantastic!
Barbara Bakes says
I have a similar family recipe with no snap in the gingersnap and they are fabulous! Glad you're feeling better! What a sweet mom!
Ooh!! I'm pretty sure that I already have this recipe from you. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder…I'll have to make them again, and soon!!
sorry you've been feeling dumpy, but there's nothing quite like mother to the rescue, am i right? these sugar-COATED cookies sound and look awesome–i'm sure the scent is killer too. yum.
I am just glad to hear you are feeling better Laura!
These cookies sound delicious and I love the story of how much the troops loved them. Storebought cookies can almost never compare to homemade. Plus I love chewy better than crunchy anyday!
noble pig says
Glad you are feeling better, these sound amazing!! They lok even better!
Glad you are feeling better now Laura! Yummy looking gingersnaps!
They sound very similar to the Raleigh Tavern Bakery's Ginger Cakes which I have shipped from Williamsburg because I have yet to perfect the recipe, even using the exact recipe in the Raleigh Tavern cookbook. It must be the giant wood burning ovens that make the difference. The girls have been asking to make ginger cakes, so maybe we'll give your recipe a try this week. It sounds quite yummy.
Sippity Sup says
I am going to make these! I mean it… I was cruising around for a not too sweet cookie recipe to take to a neighborhood association meeting tonight. Thanks, GREG
Love gingersnaps and this looks like a great recipe!
Jessica Matthews says
Just went out and bought the molasses. Looking forward to these. Glad your feeling better.
The normal gingersnaps that you see don't do anything for me but yours? Now yours look good. Like I wouldn't turn down a hand full of those babies. The generous sprinkling of sugar helps too!
Hope you're all better!
Hope your family is completely well now, Laura,
I love gingersnaps; my MIL has a similar recipe and they are melt in your mouth delicious. Yours look addictive with the sugar and now I wish I had a plateful! Guess I'll have to get busy!
Love gingersnaps and this recipe looks like a great recipe!
wonderful, heart-warming, sweet and delicious cookies. i'm sure!
No-Frills Recipes says
They look great, must try it one day.
Chris Stewart says
Yum. Thanks for sharing.
gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies, I love the way yours came out. I imagine they are soft and chewy, makes me want to have one right now
You just continue to amaze with the way you churn out great recipes–these are the best looking gingersnaps I've seen on the web!
My grandmother, Laura Dunham was a town girl who became a farmer’s wife. In the fall, the reapers came for 2 weeks, and she had to feed them lunch and dinner, 10 hungry men. She had no help. She butchered chickens and plucked them, peeled mountains of potatoes, baked bread and dinner rolls and pies. My mother as a little girl carried lunches to the men in the fields. My grandmother churned her butter, but my grandpa milked the cows. In the midst of all this my grandmother created this cookie recipe and the dinner roll recipe as well as other family recipes. She was a great and creative cook. I will miss her for the rest of my life. I’m so grateful that you have memorialized her.