Molasses Cookies

It was the rare visit to Grandma Sara’s house when there wasn’t a plate of cookies to share, and if there wasn’t, profuse apologies would ensue. Molasses Cookies were in Grandma Sara’s heavy rotation. In fact, I have three separate recipe cards in her handwriting, and I remember asking her to write it for me a few times. On one of the cards, she wrote:

This is not Grandma Daisy’s but tastes as close to hers as I can find.

Grandma Daisy was her mother, my great-grandmother. So, I’m double-dipping in the grandma category, but more than that, I’m sharing a recipe that my own grandma really tried to make as close as possible to what her mother made. I think that’s cool.

This recipe makes a good-sized, soft, cake-y cookie. Anyone familiar with Pennsylvania Dutch or Amish cooking would recognize these.  These were never in anyone’s “Christmas cookie” repertoire, but were made year-round. Of course if you ask me, you could fill a tin of these, stick a bow on it, say “Merry Christmas,” and it would all be the same thing.

None of my recipe cards say how many cookies this recipe makes. I think it’s several dozen, but it’s been a while since I made them.  Now, however, these are on my brain, and this usually means I’ll have to make them soon. If I do, I’ll post pictures and update with quantity.

Molasses Cookies

1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup baking molasses
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup dairy sour cream
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg (for eggwash)

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add 1 egg and molasses and beat well. Add vinegar and sour cream and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Gently stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Do not overbeat.

Drop by teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet (or you can use baking parchment). Allow room for them to spread.   Beat the other egg; using a spoon, press gently on top of cookie and spread a bit of egg on top. (Or, skip the egg and sprinkle with sugar… but I always remember egg on top of Grandma Sara’s cookies.)

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

These are great served warm and the way I see it, can also pass as something you might call “breakfast.”