Monday, December 13, 2010


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Since the 1930s, Christian children have left cookies and milk for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.  Growing up, my family tradition was to leave a plate of cookies and a glass of milk by the fireplace where Santa would magically descend, entering our abode and delivering gift wrapped packages making all our dreams come true. One year, my mother found a pair of wooden shoes, probably at a thrift shop or a church rummage sale, and they became part of our Christmas Eve tradtition.  She told us Norwegian children left something for Santa's faithful reindeer too; as enchanted by flying reindeer as we were by Santa, we stuffed the shoes with carrots and set them next to the milk and cookies. I always imagined Heidi high on a snowy Alpine mountain, nibbling cookies and waiting for Santa Claus, just like me.(Remember, I was just a dreamy-eyed kid with questionable geograph skills).
The holiday season always brings to mind my Grammie Conn’s Molasses Cookies.  She made them all year long and always had some stored in a tin, high on the shelf in the pantry.  A trip to Grammie’s house was fun for so many reasons, but there was nothing more exciting thsn being given the privilege of carrying the kitchen stool to the back of the pantry, reaching high on the shelf, and  lifting down the tin, knowing a cold glass of milk would be waiting on the kitchen table to wash those delicious cookies down with. I would happily help Grammie with all kinds of chores if I was going to be rewarded with molasses cookies and milk.
These cookies smell and taste like thick ginger snaps with that destinctive dark molasses undertone. It takes two days to complete the process because of resting time in the refrigerator for the dough but you can mix the batter one evening after work, and bake them the next. Though cookies are delicious any time of year, the holiday season can't help but encompasses tradition and memories of childhood and family. That is what this recipe represents to me - preserving memories of time spent with my grandparents on Malletts Lane.
I hope you will enjoy these cookies as much as I do. Happy Holidays!



2 cups Flour

2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Cloves

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Ginger

1 Egg, beaten

1/4 cup Sweet Butter

1 cup Sugar

1/3 cup Molasses


Cream together butter and sugar. Add beaten egg and molasses. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix. Chill in refrigerator overnight. The mixture may seem a bit crumbly, but that’s all right. Hand roll chilled dough into walnut sized balls. Roll in sugar (optional, but delicious.) Place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly with spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes. Let cool on cookie racks before packing into your special tin.

These cookies are crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside; best served simply with a tall, cold glass of fresh milk.

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