The last time we visited my Aunt Dorothy at her home east of Hayward, she poured us cups of coffee and set out a plate of Christmas cookies. Prominent among them were soft ginger snaps. Many people like cookies that go “crunch” in your mouth. I do not. Give me cookies that remind me of cake, not croutons.
When I asked for the recipe, she said, “I think you can find it on the molasses jar.” We looked. No luck. When we got home, I looked at the two molasses jars in our pantry. Still no ginger snap recipe, so I called and asked her to look for the recipe. A few days later it arrived with a note that began, “Hi Chuck, Here’s the recipe you wanted. Everybody seems to really like the ginger snaps. I make them often and sometimes double the recipe.”
I can understand why. These cookies are addictive.
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. powdered ginger
1 tsp. powdered cinnamon
1/2 tsp. powdered cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350º and grease the cookie sheets.
Cream the sugar and shortening. Stir in the egg and molasses. Sift together the dry ingredients and mix them into the molasses mixture. Form the dough into small balls, roll them in white sugar and place them about two inches apart on the cookie sheets.
Bake the cookies on the center shelf for eight to ten minutes. Remove them from the oven, let them cool slightly, then use a spatula to transfer the cookies to wax paper to finish cooling.
NOTES: Be careful not to bake the cookies too long, or they will end up hard and crunchy. This recipe will make about five dozen cookies.
If, despite your care, the cookies end up crunchy, you can store them with a half slice of bread in an airtight container for a day or two until they become chewy.