My Gramma Ruth was well known in our family for her molasses cookies. When the children and grandkids visited, we would head to the tall built-in cupboard in the dining room to check the Tupperware container to see if there were any cookies in it. My cousin Cathy remembers when her family would come to visit, Gramma was always pulling a sheet of molasses cookies out of the oven when they arrived. She could never figure out how Gramma would know when they would pull into the driveway; she finally decided Gramma probably baked all day long while she waited for them.
One day my cousin Audrey asked Gramma for her recipe and found there was none! Gramma was a "bit of this and a dab of that" kind of cook. So Audrey and Gramma made the cookies, and Audrey wrote down the quantities so that the recipe wouldn't be lost. There is nothing like biting into a warm cookie; but we have found if these are tucked away for a few days, the flavors mellow together, and they are even better. The taste of these cookies always brings back so many memories. Here is the recipe:
1/2 cup margarine softened
1 cup brown sugar packed
1/4 cup molasses (Gramma recommended Grandma's brand molasses)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Cream together margarine, sugar, egg, molasses. Mix in remaining ingredients to form a stiff dough. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheets; press each cookie to 1/4" using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 3 1/2 dozen.
Of the ten children in Jesse and Ruth's family, there are only three living - my mom and two aunts. There is a box of molasses cookies in my freezer to send to the aunts for their Christmas. I'm not sure if they know there is a written recipe for these. I think they will enjoy a taste from the past for their Christmas.