No matter how simple the cookie, there's something that makes a frosted cookie special. It's that little bit of extra care, I think, that draws me to them. My Sweetie-Pi knows I am interested in Shaker cooking, and he purchased a cookbook Seasoned With Grace by Eldress Bertha Lindsay. (Now you know why I call him Sweetie-Pi.)
This is a soft, spicy cookie that stays moist for days. Sweetie-Pi and I liked these very much. For maximum enjoyment, you must have a frothy glass of cold milk. The cookies keep very well, but should be stored in an air-tight container, in layers, with waxed paper in between them.
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup hot water
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a cookie sheet by greasing well, or better yet, for these cookies, use parchment paper.
In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the egg and beat well, and then add the molasses, beat again, until the ingredients are well combined.
In a separate, large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and spices.
In a one-cup measuring cup, dissolve the baking soda in the hot water.
Alternately add the flour/spice mixture and hot water to the creamed ingredients. (What they mean here is, one third of the flour mixture, one half of the water, one third of the flour mixture, the remaining water, and then the remaining flour.) Chill thoroughly. The batter will be very soft and very sticky.
Now, using a teaspoon, drop small amounts of batter onto the prepared sheet, leaving a good two inches of space in between. This batter will spread and it will stick; hence my strong recommendation to use parchment paper. (I tried greasing the first pan, and the cookies clung to the pan and became a total, horrible mess.)
Bake at 350F for about ten minutes. The cookies will be soft, but while they are still warm, frost with icing.
Recipe states it makes six dozen, and it does.
Thin Cookie Icing
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3-4 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift the confectioners' sugar into a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and beat well.