My grandmother was always baking. Her kitchen had that fresh bread or cookie smell nine days out of ten. She made a number of refrigerator cookies, recipes that require you to chill the dough overnight. She was raised in a more patient time, when chilling cookie dough overnight was a given not an oddity and when baking enough cookies to take some to the neighbors was a way of life rather than a cause for alarm. We used to joke that when we all cooked together my grandmother would invariably be the last one standing. Hours into a cooking marathon the rest of us would be sprawled on the couch or chair looking faded and worn while my grandmother continued to bustle around the kitchen, cheerful to the last. I have great photos of her making these very cookies in December of 2001. She was nearly 100 and still quick-witted, steady on her feet, cheerfully filling her kitchen with fresh baked cookie smell.
Ginger Almond Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup blanched almonds, chopped
- 1-3 tablespoons water
Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar. Next add molasses, spices, soda, almonds and flour, mix well still using the electric mixer. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using your hands, press the dough together inside the bowl. You will need to add 1-3 tablespoons of water to help the dough stick together. Shape the dough into 3 medium sized rolls 1½-inches in diameter. Roll up in waxed paper. Chill overnight.
The next day preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the cookie dough into ¼ inch thick rounds. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake 7 to 10 minutes. In my oven it only took 7 minutes. You don’t want to overcook them. They burn easily on the bottom. The first time you make them take them out of the oven after seven minutes. Flip over one of the cookies. If the bottom has started to brown you’re done. Even if they are soft on top immediately out of the oven, they are going to harden to a crisp quickly.