Friday, October 8, 2010

Ginger Molasses Sugar Cookies

You know those women you meet that inspire you just because of who they are?  My husband's grandmother, Nina, is one of those women.  She hasn't had it easy, and if you asked her she probably wouldn't take credit for the incredible things she has done in her life.  She moved from Texas to California with her husband to start farming toward the end of the Dust Bowl years, and ever since she has patiently cared for her family like nobody else I know.  When you arrive at her house for a holiday, she manages to have the house spotless and dinner ready, yet she is calm and ready to focus on her guests - not an easy task!  Her famous goodies are myriad: sour cream sugar cookies, Southern cornbread dressing, Texas sheet cake, and addictive buttery dinner rolls to name just a few.  You can just feel the warmth of God's love radiating from within, and to top it all off, she is always wearing beautiful shoes.  If I am half the woman she is when my children are grown with families of their own, I will have done well.

Here is one of my husband's favorite Grandma recipes from childhood.  I recently made these for some friends and now the recipe is spreading like wildfire.  Generously spiced, with a perfect balance between crispy and chewy, these sparkling, crackled cookies are simply irresistible.  Serve some with fresh apple cider after you get home from the pumpkin patch, and you will have yourself a perfect autumn afternoon.

Ginger Molasses Sugar Cookies

3/4 c vegetable oil
1 c sugar
1/4 c full-flavor molasses
1 egg
2 tsp baking soda
2 c flour
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
About 1/2 cup sugar for coating

Mix oil, sugar, molasses and egg and beat well.  Sift together flour, soda, and spices; add to first mixture.  Mix well.  Cover dough and chill.

Preheat oven to 375.  Line cookie sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into balls.  Roll in granulated sugar and place 2" apart on baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes, until edges are beginning to brown and tops are crackled.  Be careful not to overbake.  Cool on sheet 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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