This favorite recipe came into our hands from my sister-in-law who was a docent (years ago) at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. These were made there to reflect the baking from 1830’s New England. These are unique because of the soft, chewy texture and rich flavor from molasses, cinnamon and ginger.
Tracy gave these to us in a small handmade burlap bag right after she married into the family. But the best part of this gift was her willingness to share the recipe with me. We’ve made it often in the 25+ years since.
The nice thing about these cookies is how they get better and better as they age, (which is opposite of what usually happens...) For some reason, time makes them softer and chewier. They are satisfying with a big glass of milk, or easy to grab a handful on your way out the door when you know you’re going to get hungry soon.
If you have children, especially small ones, it’s hard for them to turn these into a pile of crumbs (as often happens when you turn cookies over to a toddler) The dough keeps refrigerated for weeks on end, and still bakes up like you just put it together.
For Christmas one year, I made a large batch of this dough and divided it into plastic pails. I gave them to friends and neighbors along with baking instructions - and called them “AFTER Christmas Cookies”. (Sometimes it takes about a month after the holidays till cookie cravings return...)
My daughter visiting from college today spotted these on my countertop. She closed her eyes and said "yessss!"
To find the recipe for this old-fashioned, chewy cookie - go to: