Grandma Cochensparger's [Molasses Ginger] Sugar Cookies

This is my (Jim's) mother's mother's recipe. Grandma Pearl Adele Cochensparger and Mom normally just called these “sugar cookies”, but obviously they are much more than that! When Mom made these we kids tried hard to beat Dad to the cookie jar. Every rattle of the cookie jar lid after we went to bed grieved us for our loss.

The directions are given below with the ingredients grouped with each step of the process. Editorial comments by me and by my wife, Sally, are interspersed and are shown in italics. Yep! There are a lot of fingerprints on this recipe card.

Cream together:

Sally – I wouldn't use butter here, because the moisture content might alter the texture. I hate to say this, but lard would be a better choice if you don't have Crisco.

Jim – Lard is always best; pigs are natural.
310 g 1.5 c shortning (Crisco or lard)
400 g 2 c sugar

Beat in:

Jim – Use dark or blackstrap molasses, of course. Rumor has it that there is another shade of molasses, but nobody knows why.
120 g 2 ea eggs
170 g 0.5 c molasses

In another bowl sift together:

Sally – I don't believe in sifting, so I stir!

Jim – Yep. Do we even have a sifter?
500 g 4 c flour, AP
18.4 g 4 tsp baking soda
1.8 g 1 tsp cloves, ground
2.2 g 1 tsp ginger, ground
4.6 g 2 tsp cinnamon, ground
6.1 g 1 tsp salt

Final steps:

Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Lightly grease the cookie sheets or spray with Pam.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix well. (The dough can be refrigerated and baked later but bring it to room temperature before forming into cookies.) Form into 2.5 cm (1 in) balls and roll in granulated sugar.

Jim – I have used ginger-flavored sugar here, which was leftover sugar crumbs resulting from my making of candied ginger earlier. It didn't seem to hurt the cookies. Sally concurs.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, 12 to the pan. Cookies come out of oven domed like shortbread cookies but “collapse” upon cooling. Let cookies cool about 10 minutes on sheet. Then move by spatula from the sheet to cooling rack for final cooling. Let sheet cool another 10 minutes to reload.

Jim – Sally prefers a baking time of 10 minutes which makes a hard cookie. I prefer a baking time of 8 minutes which makes a soft, chewy cookie like my grandma and mother made from this recipe that comes from my grandma!

Try not to eat them all at once.

Submitted by:

Jim Frysinger

Last updated on 2012 January 08 by the webmaster, Jim Frysinger.