Back in the Sixties I discovered the perfect ginger cookie recipe.    It was in Gourmet magazine; March l965 to be exact.     It was an unforgettable melding of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves deepened with molasses.    Then I lost the recipe.     It had gone to that place where lost, misplaced and forgotten recipes go.   This week I found my ginger cookie recipe  in Gourmet magazines THE COOKIE BOOK.  This book contains the single best cookie recipe from each year l941-2009.


This is a recipe that makes you home smell like Christmas.   The cookies deliver a flavour that lingers in your mouth long after the last bite.

Makes about 11 dozen cookies.  Have all ingredients at room temperature.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Cream 3/4 cup shortening or butter and gradually beat in l cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed.

Add in l egg and 1/4 cup molasses and blend thoroughly.

Sift 2 1/4 cups sifted flour with 2 tsp baking soda, l tsp each of cinnamon and ginger, 1/2 tsp cloves and 1/4 tsp salt.

Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and chill the dough for 1 hour.  This is important.

To form the cookies, scoop out a heaping teaspoon of the dough and dip the tops in sugar.  Arrange the balls at least 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Press the dough down a little.    Sprinkle each cookie with 2 or 3 drops of water (this gives them their characteristic crackled look).

Bake the cookies in a moderately hot oven (375F) for about 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are firm.


Use ordinary mild molasses.  If you take the cookies out of the oven a bit early, when they have just set, they  will be soft and slightly chewy.  Leave them to bake a little longer, and they’ll get crisp.   These cookies keep well and are even better on the second day.



5 thoughts on “GINGER SUGAR COOKIES … THE COLONY OF LOST RECIPES …. the lost is found

  1. Just the recipe I have been looking for Virginia. Thank you.

    Came across a cookbook in a friend’s kitchen a few weeks ago and thought it sounded like you.

    “From the people who brought you Stop and Smell the Rosemary!
    PEACE MEALS is the fourth in a series of acclaimed cookbooks from The Junior League of Houston. The concept behind this title is about switching our mindset from saving time to making time, because it is the special people and small moments that make the big memories.

    • I love going into used bookstores and Thrift Shops and checking out their cookbooks. I am always looking for cookbooks put out by community groups and local organizations, and the older the book the better.

      • I agree. I have one that came from my mother, splattered with fudge sauce and grease and pressure cookers exploding, from years ago. It was put out by the I.O.D.E. in maybe the 50’s. And there are still advertisements from local shops like Cowieson’s butchers, who haven’t been there for eons. But the thing I love about the community group cookbooks is that you know they ‘donate’ their best recipe, tried and true …..and it’s always worth a try.

        I still love that dessert with chocolate wafers and whipped cream!

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