Just in time for Christmas comes this delightful vintage gingersnap recipe, so easy that it can be made after a long day of work. And this recipe is special -- I rarely know the genesis of the recipes I collect, but a very generous reader, Carol Suring of Suring,Wisconsin, send me a wonderful collection of her mother-in-law's recipes. (Plus a handwritten recipe-filled notebook that belonged to her grandmother!) The recipes were inherited by Carol when her mother-in-law, who spent her whole life in Oconto County in northeast Wisconsin, passed away. "She was a good cook and was always looking for new and different things to cook," writes Carol. This is certainly true, for the collection was filled with confections I've never before encountered, things like coconut washboards, for example. I know I'll be baking from this lovely gift for months to come.
Now, on the the gingersnaps. Combine the butter, sugar, egg and molasses (in that order) and mix well.
While that's beating, put all the dry ingredients in another bowl, and whisk to combine.
Roll into balls. I did them all at once, then placed them on cookie sheets.
Bake and enjoy. The crinkled tops on some of the cookies resulted on single pans of cookies in the oven. But in the interest of time, I mostly baked two sheets simultaneously.
Production notes: The dough was a bit sticky, so I briefly refrigerated it before rolling. I didn't notice any difference when I added drops of water to some of them, so you can skip that step. These are rather mildly spiced, so you can increase the amount of ginger if you like a spicier cookie.
Preheat oven to 350F
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cloves
1 t cinnamon
Beat butter and add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
Add egg and molasses and beat well.
Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and add to mixture.
Combine well, but don't over-beat.
Refrigerate dough if it's too sticky.
Roll dough into balls about one-inch diameter
Roll one side in white sugar.
Place on cookie sheet (lined with parchment) about two inches apart.
Bake seven to 10 minutes.