These are the best gingerbread cookies ever! Soft and cakey, with a hint of ginger and cinnamon, these cookies will become a family favorite – and they are perfect for making into gingerbread men. Whether decorated for Christmas or eaten just plain, these gingerbread cookies are absolutely delicious.
One of the ingredients in these cookies is molasses. Molasses has an interesting history. It is really a byproduct of sugar production, and was used in the U.S. as the primary sweetener until the early 1900s. (Brown sugar is actually white sugar mixed with molasses -- the darker the sugar, the more the molasses.) People would purchase molasses in huge containers. In fact in 1733, a Molasses Tax was levied on American colonists as molasses was such an important commodity. Sadly, in January of 1919 a vat of molasses exploded in Boston killing and injuring over 150 people – it became known as the Great Molasses Flood as two million gallons of molasses poured out onto the street.
So when you think of gingerbread or molasses cookies as something that your grandma used to bake, it’s because it was the sweetener most common at one time.
Decorate these gingerbread men with your family or friends – it’s such a fun tradition!
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
Ingredients for Gingerbread Cookies:
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in ½ cup warm water
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. ginger
- 5 cups flour (or a little less)
Directions for making Gingerbread Cookies:
Mix together the shortening, sugar, egg, and molasses until well blended. Mix the baking soda into ½ cup warm water and add to the molasses mixture – mix together. Add the cinnamon, ginger, and flour. Mix together well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Make sure your rolling pin and cookie cutters are well-floured. (This is a soft dough and will tend to be sticky.)
Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes or just until set.
Cool on racks. Decorate when cooled or just eat plain.
(This is from my Grandma Weeks – the best molasses cookies ever!)
Other delicious cookie recipes:
Best sugar cookies ever – soft cut-out cookies you will love
Corn flake wreathes – so easy, so beautiful, so good!
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