Thursday, December 08, 2005

Truly Ginger Cookies - For Grandpa Jones

Here's a picture of my well used Gingerbread recipe card complete with smudges of who knows what.

This recipe is to Grandpa Jones from Grandma Stern. My husbands family has been making this particular ginger bread cookie recipe for over 100 years. TF's mom passed it down to me years ago and so I keep the tradition going by making these cookies every year for Christmas. TF's sister would rather get these cookies than anything else for Christmas. I buy pretty Christmas tins at the dollar store and I send out about 6 different tins of cookies from Florida to Hawaii to New York every year. This year I am adding the two grown daughters (nieces) of TF in Virginia and Maryland. Of course TF and the kids want their own tin of cookies too. Bonnie likes fudge so she gets a special batch right before Christmas. I suppose I'll be making these cookies till I die and then one of the girls will have to carry on the tradition. I really do enjoy making the cookies, because it makes people happy and it is a family tradition. When we decorate our Christmas tree I usually make a large Ginger Bread cookie for each member of the family and we eat them and have a special eggnog "toast" for the family. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Truly Ginger Cookies
Makes 6 dozen cookies.
Recipe from the kitchen of Betty Stern

Mix together:
½ cup – Soft shortening (can use part butter for flavor) I use all butter.
1 cup – Brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1 cup – molasses (unsulfered)
½ cup – evaporated milk
Grated rind of 1 orange (about 1 Tbl.) fresh

Sift together: Mix all ingredients together with a wisk, then mix in with above ingredients.

5 cups - Flour
1 tea. – baking soda
1 tea. – Ginger powder
1 tea. – Cinnamon powder
½ tea. – Ground cloves
½ tea. – Ground allspice
½ tea. - Salt

Chill thoroughly. Roll out 1/8 to ¼ inch thick, on lightly floured cloth covered board. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees. May be iced.

Special instructions:
1) If using butter, let it sit out till it is very soft. This is a must if you want a smooth mixture.
2) Use a fresh orange for the grated orange peel. One year I used some dried, reconstituted orange peel and it just didn’t turn out the same. You can definitely tell the difference in taste.
3) The dough will get hard to mix, so be patient with it. I usually wash my hands really good and dry them and mix the last bit by hand.
4) It is important to let the dough chill before making the cookies. (You can store the dough for quite a while in the frig.) Take it out of the frig and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes before you start to roll it out. The desired thickness will depend on the type of cookie cutter you are using. An open cutter can use thicker dough. A cutter with a design on the top will need to be thinner. Just experiment an decide for your self how thick you want to roll the dough.
5) A well floured board will work for making the cookies as well as a floured pastry cloth. I personally like using the pastry cloth, but I have made it on a floured board.
6) You can use any cookie cutter you wish. I like the ginger bread men and assorted other Christmas cookie cutters. If using a cookie cutter that has a pattern on the inside, make sure you flour the cutter first so the dough won’t stick.
7) When you take the cookies out of the oven, let them sit in the pan for at least 1 minute before moving them to a wire rack to cool.
8) When you are ready to put them into tins or on a plate, use a pastry brush to dust off any excess flour.
9) These cookies may be iced, but I have never done that personally. Posted by Picasa


At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can this dough be used to make a house???
i usually buy a mix but i want to try it from scratch this year.

At 3:58 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

This looks like something I gotta taste, I hope I can convince my wife to bake them.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

BSTS - I have never made a ginger bread house with this dough before, I don't know if it will work. I have a friend who makes ginger bread houses from scratch, I'll ask her.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Fred said...

That recipe card is sooo cool. The Missus has a file like that passed down a few generations, and she refuses to clean up the cards that look like this. You can even see where the recipe has changed a few times to make it better.

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks lucy, i'll check back for that recipe.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

You are quite the cook, and baker, LS!

Wish you lived closer by to me. I love ginger cookies!!

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Texas_Ivy10 said...

These cookies sound delicious!

I live in Humble, Lucy. We moved there from Spring Branch about 2 years ago.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Ivy, I'm off of 1960 between Kuykendhal and Stubner Airline. My grandmother lived in Spring Branch and my husband was a police officer out there of 8 years. My sister lives in Kingwood.
Maybe sometime we can meet.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Liquidplastic said...

I don't know why you don't have your own reciepe book out Lucy. I have tried many of the ones you have posted and they are darn good!

By the way ... thank you for your wonderful encouragenment during my illiness. I am so glad my hands are allowing me to type comments now. CTS can really be a downer.

My dauther lives on your side of town. Maybe we all need to get together and have a Houston blog party!

Merry Chirstmas to you and your beloved family.

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Running2Ks said...

I love family traditional recipes. My MIL is still trying to get the Parker House rolls, her father was famous (in the family) for, right.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

This next comment is for Running2ks.

I was noticing the eyes looking back at me and remembered that I had a similar photo that I used as a link to a chapter in my book. Just follow the below link to see the picture and then go read why it is there with the next link.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

My mother wants for Christmas some type of pastry shaping tool that eliminates the need for flour. Haven't found it yet.

In case you don't make it back to my blog soon, I wanted to respond to your comment about your sons in the marching band. My younger son tried out for the drum line his freshman year and didn't make it. To my surprise, they also eliminated all the support functions, some of which you alluded to, as well. So my son wouldn't get to be in the marching band at all.

So I talked to the band director, then the principal, and finally sent a letter to the superintendent. Eventually, my son was put back on the drum line. Maybe I shouldn't have done that. But it was the only time in my boys' schooling that I fought so in their behalf.

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

These sound spicy and yummy.
I can just imagine them with a hot cup of tea. Mmmmm

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave, At our high school, once you make the band you are involved in everything the band does. They were very strict about memorizing the music and there marching, but all the kids were given a job. Our band has won many BOA competitions and came in second at Grand Nationals three times. Two years ago, after my kids had graduated, the band came in first at Grand Nationals. I could write volumes about that. I was a total band mom, accompaning the kids on trips and to football games. I was the fund raising chairperson so I was completely involved with all the kids. It was so much fun....

I'm glad you were able to get your son back into the drumline. You are a good dad to fight for your son, he will remember that.

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Fred, your missus is a smart cookie.

LP, I'm so glad you are feeling better. What is CTS? I would love to get together, I have lots of coupons, maybe we could go to lunch. It would be fun.

Running 2ks, Parker house rolls sound so good. My dad could make the best biscuits you ever ate. He measured everything with his hands. I never could figure out what the real measurements were.

Barbara, Give these cookies a try. I bet you could take some to your daughter and give her a lift.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger see-through faith said...

hey check out eija's post

oh and the recipe is great.
have you posted the fudge too that would be a fun gift as well !

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Jeff H said...

OK, OK, I'm here!!! Now, please vote for me!!! Pretty please, with ginger on top???

By the way, I'll be posting my famous Godiva Liqueur Chocolate Chip cookie recipe soon.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Lindsay said...

Mmm, perfect recipe for the Christmas cookie season. I've already done white chocolate macadamia nut and sugar, so this will be the perfect addition to the cookie plate. I love baking, and this has got to be one of my favorite times of year for doing it. I just wish I had more people to feed! My husband and I can't go through it all fast enough and our baby's only 9 months. :) If you like homemade bread, you should take a look at the recipe I just posted, here:

Thanks for the awesome recipes!

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Greg - Cowboy in the Jungle said...


Now I'm hungry...

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

Lucy, thanks for your support.

I eliminated the reference to the Mormon Church from that post as it could be construed as negative.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

BSTS - I could not get in contact with my friend who makes the Gingerbread houses, But I found this recipe for you. It was too long to put in the comment section so I copied the webpage for you. Scroll down to Gingerbread house recipe,1801,HGTV_3186_1384828,00.html Scroll down to instructions on making the Gingerbread houses. It gives some good tips on what to do to make it come out right.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger kathi said...

I want to thank you for your visit, especially since it led me here to your site. You've made a great blog that feels like coming home. I'm looking forward to making some of your recipes, especially the ginger cookies. There is a great recipe for butter pecan cookies if you're interested on Shawn's site : I'm making these (again) to give away with your ginger cookies and some of my own recipes for Christmas. And yes, I said CHRISTmas, not 'for the holidays'.
God bless.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger K Jones said...

Lucy, I am responding for Grandpa Jones. He is at this very moment getting my mother to cook up these cookies. He is also trying to prepare himself for our weigh-in so I don't know exactly how that is going to go down, but he has it printed off and is gathering the ingredients. Thanks so much for the kindness.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Travis Crow said...

My kids love Gingerbread, so I will ahve to give this a try. Sounds great. have been tagged. Read "Seven Things" from my blog for more details.

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks lucy, i've got it!

At 9:47 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

Theres something abt ginger cookies that I love...especially soaked in tea...yummm!


At 5:06 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Cowboy - lasso up some of them cookies and enjoy.

kathi, I'll check out the Butter pecan cookies. They are one of my favorites. Come again.

K - Hope you and Grandpa enjoy the cookies. Good luck at the weigh in. Keep us posted on how it goes.

Travis, still thinking about that meme.

BSTS - Let me know how it turns out.

keshi - I have never "dunked" them in tea before. Sounds like donuts and milk. Hope you enjoy them.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Drywall Mom said...

Mom, what are you doing giving away grandma's recipe. She would shoot you for that one.


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