She made them better than anyone else could: small and perfect rounds, soft and sugared. And then she’d make them in miniature, the size of an American quarter, just for the little people.
We called her Tiny Grandma, and her hallmark cookies? Ginger.
I have her recipe, and when I bake her cookies I remember a lady I loved, though I can’t match her product. She was a careful baker—Cool the melted butter to room temperature; use your fingertip to scoop the last egg white out of the broken shell. Her work never varied, unless of course she forgot something. She did make pumpkin pies once without the pumpkin…
Grandma’s Ginger Cookies
¾ cup margarine
2 cups sugar
½ cup molasses
4 ½ cups flour
4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
Melt and cool margarine. Add sugar, eggs and molasses and beat well. Add dry ingredients. Chill dough, then form into 1” balls. Roll in white sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 7-8 minutes. Do not overbake; when they crack, take them out, and let them finish baking on the cookie sheet.
Sometimes I make ginger cookies when I miss her. And this season, I copied my aunt and tried something new: filling them with lemon buttercream and sticking them together as sandwich cookies. Or with coconut cream filling. You won’t believe it—heaven!
10 Tbsp. butter, softened
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
Dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat ingredients well—frosting will still be crumby until liquid is added. Divide in half. To one half, add
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
and beat till fluffy. To the other, add
2-4 Tbsp. whipping cream
½ cup coconut
Frost the underside of one cookie and stick it to another—making some sandwiches with coconut buttercream and some with lemon. Place cookies in an airtight container and leave alone for a day to soften, so the filling does not squeeze out when you eat them… if you can wait that long [wink].
And that’s all the news from the Zooks for the year!
Merry Christmas, folks. See you in January!