At Christmas time, what brings back memories of the past are often recipes that were made year after year. In our home, we could not imagine a Christmas without Jewish Coffeecake, Italian Struffoli or these crispy and aromatic cookies, otherwise known as “Grandmother Kluth’s Gingersnap Cookies”.
Now, you can see that my mother’s recipe collection was quite an eclectic mixture of recipes passed along from my father’s Italian relatives, newly acquired favorites from friends and neighbors, and her own family’s midwest-inspired recipes like these Gingersnap Cookies given to her by her mother, Hilda Kluth.
This recipe is a part of the special portfolio my mother gave me when I was younger. They became cherished recipes when my mother passed away. I was so grateful that she had such an incredible gift of cooking and baking and made sure that she passed that gift along to me and my other sisters. When I bake Grandmother Kluth’s Gingersnap Cookies I love how the incredible smells of the molasses and ginger fill the air. It is then that I can picture my mother back in our kitchen growing up, meticulously making all her Christmas goodies. She would let us roll the dough into balls and watch them slowly take shape in the oven as they baked.
What I think of most with this recipe is my mom and grandmother. These are the type of recipes of days gone past that I am grateful for keeping in my collection. The recipe is simple and makes a delicately spiced cookie that is crispy on the outside and soft in the center. An old fashioned favorite that you can add to your collection and pass down to your family and friends.
- 3¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable shortening (you can use ½ cup butter and ½ cup shortening)
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, ginger and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine sugar and shortening. Cream until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Blend in molasses and egg. Gradually add in flour mixture until completely combined.
- If dough is too sticky, you can blend in an additional tablespoon of flour.
- Chill for 30 minutes.
- Take a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Roll in additional sugar if desired. Repeat with remaining dough. Place on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes.