Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Well, here it is. My twelfth recipe of Christmas. I saved this recipe for gingersnaps for the last one because it is a very special recipe. Not only is it delicious and pretty, but I received this recipe from my husband's grandmother, Eleanor VanDeNorth, several years ago. Grandma Van, as all her grandkids called her, made cookies every year for all of her grandkids and each one got a box of cookies all to themselves. When I was in college dating Brendan, he would share his cookies with me. He told me how the gingersnaps were his favorite, and after having one I had to agree. As we became engaged and then married, I saw Grandma Van more and more often. One night while having dinner at her house, I asked for a few of her recipes (a chicken dinner, her salad dressing and the gingersnaps). She gave them to me and I've been making them ever since. I remember when I told some of Brendan's family that she gave me the recipes for her dressing and the gingersnaps and they were somewhat surprised. Apparently Grandma Van kept her recipes a close guarded secret. I don't attribute her generosity so much to my personality as to the fact that she adored Brendan. He had lived with her through his four years of high school and was an extremely loving and dutiful grandson. I remember visiting over some college holiday and going over to her house so Brendan could cover her air conditioner and do a few other odd jobs for her. She was an incredible woman with a wonderful talent for baking cookies. She died this September and is greatly missed. At our house, it wouldn't be Christmas without Grandma Van's gingersnaps. Please enjoy her recipe.

Grandma Van's Gingersnaps

▪ ¾ cup shortening
▪ 1 cup sugar
▪ 1 egg
▪ ¼ cup molasses
▪ 2 cups flour
▪ 2 teaspoons baking soda
▪ 1 teaspoon cinnamon
▪ 1 teaspoon ground cloves
▪ dash salt
▪ 1 teaspoon ginger

Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat. Add molasses and beat well. Sift remaining dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture; mix well.

Refrigerate dough for at least two hours or overnight. Roll into small balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 12-13 minutes at 350ºF.

Makes about 60 cookies.

Notes: If you use parchment paper you do not have to grease the cookie sheet. DO NOT overbake these cookies. They burn easily. As they cool they will harden and you will get the distinctive crunch of a gingersnap.

This completes my 12 recipes of Christmas. I hope you have enjoyed seeing them and trying them as much as I have enjoyed sharing all of them with you. Have a blessed and merry Christmas!


Irish Coffeehouse said...

What a treasured recipe to have as a keepsake and heirloom!

You are soooo tempting my scale to really topple! lol

Have a wonderful Christmas! :o)

Unknown said...

Just wanted to tell you both the cheesecake and the chocolate cake was a smash hit! Thanks so much for the recipes- hope your Christmas went perfectly! Cheers!