These are an old family favourite I’ve been making since I was a kid- and I’m the only one in my family who makes them. It’s an old Christmas Cookbook Treasury of my mother’s, a Christmas gift from her mother. It had a very confusing structure: five cookbooks in one, and they all had their own table of contents and pagination. It would have been printed in the early 80s, before digital software made editing and printing so much easier.
The Cookbook Treasury lived up to its name and was one of our (re. kids’) favourite cookbooks because it had lots of full colour photos of fluffy frosted cakes, candies spilling out of tiered dishes and elaborate holiday dishware. The favourite picture was a whole page of springerle, frosted gingerbread and sugar cookies ‘spilling’ out of a basket beside a frosted Christmas tree: this was the equivalent of cookie heaven. It was also this book that inspired my mother to create gingerbread boxes for each of us, and fill them with an assortment of cookies.
Keeping with the Christmas theme, these cookies are called “Snow Covered Gingersnaps” because they’re rolled in confectioner’s sugar before cooking. In the oven, they spread out and the sugar cracks, and they kind of look like snow (the almost gone Spring variety). Very pretty, but it’s kind of messy to eat so I sometimes bake them plain.
Snow Covered Gingersnaps
¾ C vegetable shortening
1 C sugar
¼ C molasses
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 scant tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1. Cream shortening; add sugar gradually, creaming well after each addition.
2. Add molasses; mix well.
3. Add egg; beat.
4. Add flour salt and spices; stir into dough.
5. Roll into balls the size of a walnut.
6. Roll the balls in confectioner’s sugar.
7. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
8. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, until spread and cracked.
These keep well in an airtight container, or frozen. You can also freeze the balls of raw dough and cook fom frozen.