Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Ginger Cookies

on October 6, 2014

Wow! Does Grandma look like my mom in this picture! This photo of Grandma says 1936 on the back of it, so it was taken about the time she and Grandpa met.

Ginger Cookies

They met at her church’s Scandinavian Midsummer celebration playing ring games. I’m not sure what ring games are, I was always too interested in the fact that they met there. Grandpa was from another small town several miles away, and when asked what he and his brothers were doing there, he answered, “looking for girls”! And then he’d give that little snicker of his and she’d laugh her little girl laugh! Well, it worked, because they were married a year after this photo was taken, and were inseparable for 65 years. You’d rarely see one without the other!

This is another old recipe that came out of my mom’s recipe file, but it originally came from Grandma. These Ginger Cookies are as basic as you can get. It gives the ingredients and that’s about it! I think this one must be a depression era recipe. There are no eggs and there’s the issue of half butter and half lard.

Ginger Cookies

Note that there are no instructions how exactly to shape these cookies, no time, and no baking temperature.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Ginger Cookies

Cream together:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup lard (I just couldn’t bring myself to buy lard – I used 1 cup of butter total)

1 cup sugar


1 cup molasses

1 Tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 cups all-purpose flour

It says on the card to pat out with hands. I’m not sure if that means they can be rolled and cut with cookie cutters, I just don’t know and I didn’t try to do it that way. I tried two different shapes with my first sheet of cookies. Half of them I rolled into balls and rolled in sugar and then half of them I scooped out and flattened with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. The rolled balls didn’t spread out, they just stayed round. The scoops flattened with a glass dipped in sugar stayed flat so I went with that –  it also went faster.

I baked them at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.


It makes a pretty stiff dough, so who knows? Maybe it would work to roll it out and use cookie cutters. I’ll have to try that sometime.


I used my scoop to make them all somewhat evenly sized.


When using a glass to flatten the cookies, I first roll one ball of dough with my hands and rub the glass on my greasy hand to get the sugar to stick on it the first time.


You can see the sugar sparkling on the top!


They sure smell good baking on a windy, cool fall day.


You can see the sugary, crust here.


This is about the size of stack my husband will take at one time if I let him!


These cookies are perfect with your afternoon coffee, or even your afternoon hot chocolate!

Get the fall season off to a great start and bake up a batch of these Ginger Cookies today!

UPDATE: I made these cookies on Friday and by Sunday, they were very hard and almost hard to bite! I’m not sure if using half lard would have made them more tender. Maybe they were meant to be roll-out cookies that should be cut with cookie cutters and be thinner. I would try make them that way next time! 🙂


3 responses to “Ginger Cookies

  1. mom says:

    I do recall using a glass to flatten them………………

  2. So maybe I did do them right?!!

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