Donna asked for the molasses cookie recipe. There is a family story behind them.
My mom spent her earliest years on a rustic farm in Iowa. My grandfather's family had been Swedish peasants and didn't want to use these newfangled contraptions called "tractors". Needless to say... the farm grandpa worked was not too successful. This was some land on my grandma's side. Her people were Hungarians who immigrated here when they lost their land in the old country because of land reforms. The Hungarian side of my family adapted to new farming techniques much more readily.
Anyway... Mom was a little girl on the farm before they moved to town and Grandpa worked for John Deere (building tractors and farm equipment... oh, the irony...) She didn't have many playmates because it was pretty isolated out there. Eventually at about age 7, she was invited to sleep over at another little girl's house. That girl's mother made these cookies for her visit. My mom loved them and asked for the recipe, even though she was too young to cook them in the kitchen. The mother was so pleased to be asked that she sat down right away to write the recipe. This same little girlfriend also explained to my mom the shocking details of how babies are made.
Often I am a butter snob when it comes to cookies, but the spice flavors of these are strong, so you can get away with margarine or shortening. I prefer dark brown sugar and dark or"robust" molasses. This makes a big difference in flavor, as does using heaping measurements of the spices instead of level measurements.
Preheat oven to 375 and grease cookie sheets.
3/4 cup soft margarine
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
Mix in gradually:
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 heaping teaspoon cloves
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
Chill dough. It will be sticky. Roll dough into uniform sized balls and roll them in granulated sugar. Bake on greased baking sheet at 375 for 10-12 minutes.
Enjoy! These are great at Holiday time because they aren't so sweet and the sugared outside gives them a bit of sparkle.