For the first few years after college, I taught school in Anacortes, Wash. The staff was often treated to delicious cookies made by Barbara Ellis, one of our custodians. On the days she would bring her ginger-molasses cookies, I was in heaven.
Barbara was kind enough to share her recipe with me, and--14 years later--I still use it.
I've adapted it here for Valentine's day so you can make heart-shaped cookies you perch atop a mug of milk.
There's no reason you can't follow this trick on another holiday. I'm sure Santa Claus would get a kick out of seeing one of his reindeer flying across a cup of cocoa at Christmastime.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 39 minutes
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- Extra sugar to sprinkle on the cookies
Sift the flour, salt, ginger, cloves and baking soda into a medium bowl and set aside.
Cream the shortening with an electric mixer. Blend in the egg and molasses.
Stir in the flour mixture.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface so it is about 1/2-inch thick, then cut out heart shapes using a cookie cutter.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9 minutes.
Remove the baking pan from the oven. The dough will have spread, making the heart shapes unrecognizable now. Working quickly and carefully, press the cookie cutter over each cookie again. Remove the outer edges of the cookie (break them into bite-size pieces, store in an air-tight container and sprinkle on top of ice cream later).
Using a small, sharp knife, cut vertical slits in the side of each heart that are about 1/4-inch wide. Don't cut too close to the top of the cookie, making the cookie too fragile.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. Once they are completely cool and have hardened a bit, fill mugs with cold or steamed milk and slide one cookie onto each mug. Serve as an after-school treat on Valentine's Day or whenever your little ones need some love and sweetness.