Saturday, March 10, 2007

Happy Birthday! Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

Well, today would have been my grandmother Helen's 105th birthday. The picture is labelled March 1981, so I think we must have gone to her house to celebrate her birthday- she is holding her first great-grandson.

This recipe is from her ledger- Helen made 2 kinds of cookies that I remember best, the hermits, and these molasses cookies. They arrived at our house in shoeboxes lined with foil, frequently with an apple slice in the box to keep the cookies moist. I adored them.
I haven't made them though, for several reasons. First, I hate making cookies, I'm just too lazy to enjoy fussing around with them. Also, Helen's recipe writing technique on this leaves out some steps, as you will see, and I don't bake enough to be able to troubleshoot well.

The main reason, though, is the first ingredient. The only things I ever made with lard were tamales. I don't want to substitute butter, because of the flavor change, and I swore off things like shortening. I see that Crisco has a no Trans Fat variety, and I guess I could overcome my purchasing prejudices enough to try it. Or maybe I'll just get some lard, after all, it's one batch of cookies, one time a year....

Old Fashion Molasses Cookies by Mrs Green (I have no idea who Mrs Green is)
1 cup lard
2 cups sugar
Cream these together
2 cups sorghum
4 eggs (Beat in light)
3 Tablespoons boiling water
1 Tablespoon soda
1 Teaspoon salt
2 Teaspoons ground ginger
2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon

Put creamed lard and sugar in large pan, then add soda and ginger.
Add soda, salt and cinnamon to flour.
Enough flour to drop or more flour, roll and cut.
I assume you add the egs and water to the sorghum MOLASSES, and then add that to the creamed lard and sugar, then add the flour mixture. I don't remember she ever made the drop cookies- the ones I was so fond of were rolled, and dusted with flour when you ate them. These are not a terribly sweet cookie. Let me know if you have a good substitute for the lard.
The pictures are my favorites of my grandmother's cookie jars. There was also a big glass jar that was always topped with a piece of aluminum foil.

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