ursula lecoeur

Grandmere’s Ginger Cookies

ursula lecoeur

Ginger cookies

Mary Reporting. The other day as I wandered a huge shopping mall, I detected the smell of ginger and followed my nose straight into a Williams-Sonoma. I lingered for a few moments to take deep breaths of this holiday perfume. I didn’t actually see what the cook prepared—but the aroma put me in need of ginger cookies.

Within a few hours of returning home, I had my own batch in the oven. The whole process of mixing ground ginger into the batter, shaping the cookies, smelling them while they bake and carefully shaking them in a bag of sugar while they’re still warm has been a Christmas ritual in my family for generations.

Both my grandmothers loved ginger. Grandmere’s specialty was cookies; Grandy’s was ginger cake, a recipe I’ll share in the New Year.

These cookies are made with granulated white sugar, not dark brown, so they’re not as dark or as strongly flavored as ginger snaps. When they bake, cracks form on the surface, which allows sugar to tuck into the crevices.


½ cup Crisco

¼ cup unsalted butter

1 ½ cups sugar

1 egg

¼ cup Grandma’s Molasses

2 cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cloves



1)      Cream Crisco and softened butter. Add 1 cup sugar. Save ½ cup for dusting cookies.

2)      Add egg and molasses.

3)      Mix remaining dry ingredients together.

4)      Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.

5)      Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

6)      Shape cookies into balls and shake one at a time in a plastic baggie containing about ½ cup sugar.

7)      Bake on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

8)      Cool until you can handle without burning your hands. Shake each warm cookie in a plastic baggie of sugar for its second coating. Makes about 40 cookies.