Happy Foodie Friday, dear reader. I thought today I would share a Christmas cookie recipe with you. Christmas cookies are one of my favorite holiday traditions. When I was a kid, my mom and grandma would spend a day or so baking holiday treats. We had several recipes that we made year after year. It felt like Christmas when the soft molasses cookies, soft, drop sugar cookies with red and green sugar, cheesecake cookies, magic bars, and fudge were made. These were treats that were only enjoyed during the holiday season.
My Grandma Haney, my mom’s mom, lived with us. Grandma Haney moved in with us when I was in third grade. My parents put an efficiency apartment in our basement for my grandma and pop. They spent half their time in Pennsylvania and the other half in Florida. Once my pop passed away, my gram traveled to Florida alone for a few years but eventually felt like it was too much for her, and she remained in Pennsylvania full-time.
As I got older, I realized that time with my grandma was not promised. In my high school years, she taught me to make pie crust…which I never mastered. She also showed me how to make soft molasses cookies (my favorite) and fudge. Working with a rolling pin was one of my favorite things to do. She would laugh at me, scold me if I rolled the dough too thin, and tell me I didn’t have to “be so rough” with the dough. I learned that it would get tough if the dough is worked too much. These lessons and now memories are some of the best I have of my Grandma Haney.
When I was in my early twenties, my Grandma passed away after suffering a massive stroke. After her stroke, she was utterly incapacitated and had to live in a skilled nursing facility. It was a sad existence, and it still hurts to think about how she must have suffered. Whoever labeled old age as the golden years never watched a loved one suffer. When my grandma passed away, the one thing I kept was her rolling pin.
Each year, my bean and I bring out her rolling pin and recreate my grandma’s soft molasses cookies. These spicy, soft holiday treats are my absolute favorite. I’m not sure if it’s because they are so delicious or because it makes me think of the good days with my Grandma Haney…it’s probably both. Today, I will share with you my Grandma Haney’s Soft Molasses Cookies. I hope you enjoy them; they make you think of good times, holiday memories, and loved ones. Enjoy, dear reader.
Grandma Haney’s Soft Molasses Cookies
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Molasses
3 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cup Shortening Melted
1 Cup Hot Water
6 Cups Sifted Flour
6 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Nutmeg
1 Tsp. Ginger
Mix ingredients in the order given, beating thoroughly. Let stand for 3-4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Put on floured board and roll to ½ inch thick. Cut with a cookie cutter, and sprinkle with the colored surge. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.