Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not my Grandparent's Ginger Snaps

In 1958, my parents built a home on three acres of property that my grandparents had bought after WWI. Having moved around with my Dad's naval assignments, this was their dream home, close to family and friends.  However, the house was set back from the road with a quarter-mile driveway and that meant we would have to walk down a path every morning (and again in the afternoon) to catch the school bus in front of my grandparent's home.  Looking back, it's what kept us in shape, not to mention the lack of television programming and computer games!

Every day, after the bus left us off, we would stop in to visit with our grandparents before heading down the path.  It was something I looked forward to; listening to what they had been doing that day and a joke or two my Grandpa Frank would tell.  Grandma Gladys would remove the lid of the handmade cookie jar (a beautiful wooden one my grandfather had made her) and we'd reach in to pull out yummy ginger snap cookies as we also shared what our day at been like.  Admittedly, these cookies were not homemade, but rather came in a large brown bag from the grocery store.  However, that wasn't the point.  The sharing of time and stories is, and those ginger snaps were, nonetheless, scrumptious, especially with a glass of cold milk.

I received two emails yesterday that brought back this memory.  The first one, from King Arthur Flour with this homemade Ginger Snap recipe that I made this morning and the other from my dear friend, Nicole, who shared this photo of the first snow of the season!

I thought...what makes a house smell warm and inviting, especially on a cold, snowy day--a cookie with the aroma of spices emanating from the kitchen.  I loved sitting around my grandparent's kitchen table, sharing, laughing, and eating those ginger snaps and I knew they would be great after a day of playing in the snow as well.

 Ginger Snaps

Preheat oven 375F-degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat.

3/4 cup shortening (yes, you can use unsalted butter, but the cookies will be soft!)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 tsp. ground ginger (I chose 2 tsp.)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

In the bowl of a KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer) beat the shortening, sugar, salt and baking soda until fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and molasses.  Beat well.

In a small bowl, add the flour and the spices and use a whisk to stir together.  Add to the mixture and on low speed, combine completely.

Use a small scoop to make 1-inch balls and roll in the coating.

Bake in preheated oven 11 minutes.  [I bake using convection so I lowered the temperature to 365F-degrees and baked the cookies for 9 minutes.]  Let cool on the pan, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

As the holidays approach, take time to bake and spend time with your family--memories are made with the simplest of tasks.  Enjoy!


  1. Ginger Snaps are a favorie of mine, as well. First of all, because I love the flavor and crisp texture. Secondly because of the memory if eating them with my Aunt Dot. Hers, too, were store bought. I don't know why she never made them from scratch. Goodness knows she made everything else. (You two would have loved each other!) Anyway, I will have to give these a shot. Love you!

    p.s. We had our first snow yesterday, too! But sadly not enough to make such a cute snowman :)

  2. I remember your Aunt Dot, mostly through Kelly's eyes, but I did love her. These Ginger Snaps are wonderful and I sent some to Ari to start some memories.

    I am happy enjoying the snow through photos you send and would rather not see it in my yard this year! xoxo

  3. Hello Susan

    So strange to see a snow man when its boiling hot here..I have seen snow once in my life and boy do the children wish to see it every Winter..maybe next year. Susan I am enjoying my bag so much. I have all my Christmas projects housed in it at the moment so it is my constant companion.

    A special hug and kiss to you from me today~
    Love you

  4. ginger snaps are one of my favorites!
    seeing my snowman here made me smile : )
    sending love xoxo

  5. These look so good! Wish I had a couple with a cold glass of milk, before I head off to bed!
    Cute snowman! Supposed to get cold here by next weekend, maybe some snow at the higher elevations, but not where I live.