My Mom’s Ginger Cookies

My brother and sister did a really amazingly sweet thing for me. I called both of them last week and asked if they knew the recipe for our mom’s ginger cookies. I had tried to reconstruct them and even with the help of the internet I was at a loss. Neither knew the answer but my brother said that he would have a look through my mom’s stuff.

Today, a very heavy box arrived at my door. I thought my brother had sent their annual Christmas box of goodies, although it was quite weighty for a tin of peanut brittle and a gift or two. When I opened it there was a card on top, another mystery. It turns out that my brother and sister boxed up all of my mother’s cookbooks and hand written recipes and sent them to me. I was floored and quite touched. I sat all afternoon and went through all of the books since each contained several clippings and hand written recipes. On one of the last pages of the last book, appropriately titled “The Family Tree Cookbook” I hit pay dirt. The evasive Ginger Cookies recipe in all of it’s glory and in my mother’s practically illegible scrawl. Fortunately, I speak scrawl. Here it is. The white icing recipe is still missing, but there are plenty to choose from on the internet. Anything with butter, powdered sugar and a dash of milk will do.


  • 1/4 Cup Shortening (crisco of course)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Small Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Molasses
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Hot Water
  • 2 Cups Flour, sifted
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon


  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • Spoon
  • Baking Sheet
  • Plastic Wrap
  1. Pre heat oven to 375.
  2. Sift together flour and spices in one bowl and stir together.
  3. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water.
  4. Combine the egg, shortening, molasses and baking soda mixture.
  5. Stir in flour mixture until smooth.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  7. Butter a cookie sheet.
  8. Drip teaspoon size dollops evenly spaced on the sheet.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes until set. Do not burn.
  10. Repeat until done.
  11. Ice.

Makes about 2 dozen.


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