I once thought of these as my cookies.
Not as in … all mine… but more as what comes out of youthful innocence…to keep one unaware of the likes and dislikes of others. I don’t recall Mom making these as she did her Peanut Butter cookies. So who knows but that perhaps it was my passion that fed my sibling’s desire for these cookies.
I became aware of our common feeling about this cookie only last summer, when my sister baked a batch for my brother’s birthday, then ended up keeping half the batch for herself. Recalling the memory of her half and half methodology, I baked a batch of these cookies on her birthday a few days ago, with a plan to keep half — and with a slight refinement of my sister’s formula — give the remaining half to my sister to share with my brother.
Sharing these cookies is something I’ve done for years. In part because they are my favorite — but also because they sit pretty on a serving dish, they transport easily and stay fresh for days. I’ve shared these cookies at church gatherings, work parties and even given them away as Christmas gifts. I don’t know how many times I’ve given away the recipe.
It was one of the first I gathered from my mother, back when I began my collection in the early seventies. The recipe was one Mom clipped from a local newspaper — now mustard brown with age, the clipping is pasted into Mom’s favorite cookbook, one of the few things of Mom’s that Christi has chosen to keep.
Like any good recipe, this one is splattered with forty years of use. But unlike most, this recipe has also survived a hit and run casualty from a collision with two canines, that began with Max’s foray on the kitchen counter top.
Pilfering food from the counter is one of Max’s favorite past-times that has netted him many tasty morsels. Unfortunately for Max, the counter was bare that day but for the recipe card. So when Max swept the counter clean with his huge paws, the card took flight and landed at Cosmo’s feet, who quickly nabbed the prize and ran like mad for her hidey hole. By sheer luck, I saw her running away from the scene of the crime and got to the card in time to save it from certain death. Carefully, I pulled the card from Cosmo’s clenched jaws, extricating all but one small bite that she refused to part with.
Keeping a share of the recipe is obviously something Cosmo subscribes to also. Or is it just something that comes natural to all dogs?
Try it and see. From my life to yours.
Soft Ginger Cookies1 cup sugar 3/4 cup shortening 1 egg 1/4 cup molasses 2 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. ginger 1/4 tsp. salt
Cream sugar & shortening; mix in egg and molasses. Beat well. Gradually add sifted dry ingredient to form a stiff dough. Refrigerate for two hours or over night. Form into small balls, roll in sugar and bake on a greased cookie sheet — 10 to 12 mins at 375 degrees. Makes four dozen.
This is EXACTLY the recipe for Elevator Lady Spice Cookies from Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook Book, except she includes 3/4 tsp clove. Here’s what she says about the recipe:
“Once, in an elevator en route to my office, I was eating some spice cookies which I had made from a recipe in my big fat cookbook. I gave one to the Elevator Lady, and she taste it. ‘My,’ she said reflectively. ‘I can make a better spice cookie than that’. So she brought me her recipe, and she was quite right. This is a short, rich, ginger-snap sort of a cooky, and the recipe makes plenty.”
I long ago gave up on Bracken’s cookbook as a whole – we just eat differently now than we did 50 years ago! But the page with four of her cookie recipes stays with me, and I still make all four!
So maybe the originator of Mom’s clipped recipe had made Bracken’s Elevator Lady recipe her own and left out the cloves. Or spice-versa….!
“Spice-versa….” Giggle 😉
Next time I’m going to try these with cloves. And the cherry oatmeal with almond instead of vanilla. Both versions sound nice.