Wednesday, December 21, 2011
My great grandfather was such a special person. Although my grandpa would always say his father would walk on his knees for his great grandkids, he had some rather funny habits too. A person always grows up thinking their family life is “normal,” and it’s not until you grow up and experience life in the real world that you realize how funny some things may have been.
Great Grandpa hated milk and eggs; he wouldn’t touch the stuff with a ten foot pole. I seem to remember stories of it having to do with him working on a chicken farm too long; although your guess is as good as mine, it’s all a blur before age twelve. My grandma was such a good daughter-in-law, she would boil potatoes separately from our mashed potatoes, even though he would cover it in butter! However, Great Grandpa would find a way to overlook the eggs and milk in ICE CREAM and chocolate cake!
I loved him dearly.
I remember a specific time when I asked Grandma why she boiled potatoes separately for her father-in-law, she explained it to me, which I then followed with “BUT WHY DOES HE EAT CHOCOLATE CAKE?”
“Shhhhh!” was all she said.
Molasses cookies were another favorite of his, and yes, they contain eggs. I didn’t like these cookies as a child, but have since grown to like them as I grew older.
The scrumptious spicy smell of ginger and nutmeg wafting (that’s right, wafting) through the house puts any grinch right into the Christmas spirit. These cookies have also saved me many a time as I remembered the last minute Christmas cookie swap.
You can whip up five or six dozen of these, and they always freeze very well! I’ve had lots of molasses cookies that unfortunately just didn’t cut the cake. They get tough and crunchy, and I long for a soft and chewy cookie.
The shortening or margarine definitely helps here, allowing the cookie to keep its shape without melting all over the pan. I’ve had best results from butter flavored Crisco (not an endorsement, just a personal opinion).
The dough is a cinch to whip up, and it’s a great recipe for the kids to help. An assembly line works great with one kid rolling cookie balls, and another munchkin rolling the ball in granulated sugar. Give these a whirl today, I’m sure your dessert table needs one more dessert, right?
You’ll be pleased, and think of my great grandpa – just don’t tell him about the eggs.
~Peace, Love, and Molasses Ya’ll! Merry Christmas!
Yield: 5 dozen
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 tablespoons molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
2 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
Cream together shortening and sugar; beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, until just blended, then the molasses.
Then add dry ingredients. So simple! Must really be an old timey recipe, right? Mix well. Roll a tablespoon of dough into balls, then roll in white sugar. Bake at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes, or until cookies begin to crack. Be careful not over bake or they will be crunchy!