Every once in a while you will find recipes posted here. I love to bake sweet treats although sugar and animal products are not on my list of things to eat - I bake for my kids and the pleasure I find in perfecting cookie recipes and adding a handmade, love-filled treat for their lunch boxes.
When we were kids, my sisters and I walked to and from school and often we would stop by Williams and Sons Country Store right on Main Street in Stockbridge, MA where we grew up. Mr. Creelman, who ran the little shop with his wife had a special softspot for my little sister. Everyday he would give her a piece of penny candy. Sometimes I had enough pocket change to get one of Mrs. Creelman’s most delicious ginger molasses cookies. Those were good days – and those cookies were savored every step of the walk home if they lasted that long.
If I remember correctly, the local newspaper printed Mrs. Creelman’s Ginger Molasses Cookie recipe back in the day and that is how my mother got ahold of it. My mom made these cookies during the year. They were not special occasion cookies but were baked to fill the cookie jar and doled out with coffee or tea after dinner – or in school lunches if we planned ahead. My mother came from a place were cookies were sacred and only to be consumed with permission. I never understood that thought process and feel comfortable knowing that my kids have the option to enjoy the cookies we bake as they would like – I mean maybe not right before we sit down to a meal but otherwise – please! Have a couple cookies and enjoy every morsel. You see, a few years ago, I stopped eating sugar and animal products to improve my health and symptoms associated with Ulcerative Colitis – so it brings me extra pleasure to bake and be rewarded with appreciation.
My mom made each of her daughters a cookbook with all our family favorite recipes in it. This is one the ways I love my mom on a daily basis
One of my kids is gluten free (not an allergy but she no longer complains about daily stomach aches), and I love to make perfect cookies. So, when baking, I convert my recipes to be gluten free.
Following is the recipe both ways – the traditional way of Mrs. Creelman and then my conversion to GF baking. Try them out either way and let me know your feedback.
Soft Ginger Cookies – Mrs. Creelman from Williams Country Store Stockbridge, MA
In a large bowl cream 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter or margarine, softened.
Beat in 3 cups sugar until light and fluffy
Add 1 cup unsulfured molasses
Add 3 large eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
Add 1 teaspoon salt
8 cups all purpose flour
11/2 Tablespoons of each of: dry ginger and baking soda
1 Tablespoon each: ground cloves and cinnamon
Stir into the above until well incorporated. Roll dough into 11/2 inch balls. With sugar coated hands, roll balls into sugar and arrange them 2” apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 13 minutes
Cool cookies on racks
Makes about 70 cookies
For Gluten Free I changed flour to 6 cups Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour Mix (blue label) and 3 cups Fine Almond Flour. Upped baking time to 14 minutes.