Ahhhh, Christmas! I’m not sure that there is anything better than this time of year! Everything is decorated so beautifully and I love to sit back and take it all in! From the time I was a little girl I have been obsessed with the season, and my kids laugh at me now when I start to get excited, usually about three weeks before Thanksgiving. I have to fight the urge to cover every square inch of the house in some form of Christmas decor and if I were left unattended, I fear that our house would look like Clark Griswald’s in “Christmas Vacation!” I’m one of those crazy Christmas ladies that from the moment I wake up or get home from work, every tree and light must be plugged in immediately. I plug in the trees before I make coffee, and that’s saying a lot!
Looking back, my memories are so fond! When it was time to put up the tree all of my siblings would pitch in, but my younger sister and I, usually in Wonder Woman underoos, would then lie under the tree for hours staring up at all those twinkling lights. My mom had a Christmas album that was our absolute favorite and to this day I am still trying to locate a copy. It was various artists singing “Twas the night before Christmas”, “Mary’s Boy Child”, “Hallelujah”, and countless others! I bet we listened to that album a thousand times throughout the years. I wish my mom was still here to ask what happened to that glorious album, but it’s long gone. This time of year conjures up so many memories and as I write I am smiling recalling them. Christmas Eve was always my favorite because having two parents that were amazing cooks meant an incredible dinner, followed by church, and then we always got to open one gift , a tradition that I have carried on with my own family. It seemed like the one time of year when things were absolutely perfect!
So now to talk cookies. From my Grammy’s Russian tea cakes, to oatmeal scotchies, to peanut butter blossoms, there are so many wonderful recipes that have been passed down to me from family. But the one that I am sharing today is my all time favorite. These perfectly sweet delights, are to me, the epitome of Christmas in my home. Each year I look forward to making them and eating them! Ginger is a flavor that is infused in so many things this time of year and I adore ginger. However, I do not love a traditional ginger snap, and I don’t love to eat gingerbread on it’s own. These satisfy the ginger craving, but come in the form or a sugar cookie! Ginger sugar cookies came to our family from a friend of my mom and we have baked them every year for as long as I can remember. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love them so I hope you’ll give them a try! Follow the instructions and you will find that they are easy to make and a wonderful cookie worthy of a cookie exchange, or simply sharing with family and friends! Oh and have I mentioned the smell? It is remarkable! Your entire house will smell like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves!
Ginger Sugar Cookies: (This is a double recipe and makes about 8 dozen cookies)
- 4 Cups sifted flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp cloves
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Cups sugar (plus more for rolling the cookies in)
- 1/2 Cup molasses (mild flavor)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening (NOT butter flavor)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl cream well together the sugar and shortening. Blend the eggs and molasses into the creamed sugar mixture until it is all combined. Add in the dry ingredients. Mix well. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll them into balls. Roll each ball in sugar. Bake the cookies on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper for 8-10 minutes (non-stick cookie sheets work well also). DO NOT over bake! They will have a crinkled surface and be lightly golden brown. Once cooled store in a cookie tin.
I hope that you and yours have the most magical time this holiday season and create wonderful memories baking, cooking, and decorating together! As always, if you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear from you! From our family to yours, cheers and Merry Christmas! That’s my dish!