In more recent years my mother took over the baking of this hearty, old-fashioned pioneer cookie. After the passing of my grandma in 2012 (she was a great baker and cook) the responsibility of fulfilling my grandpa's cookie cravings fell to my mom, with some help from me. He is a self proclaimed cookie monster! And I take that claim quite seriously now that I have personally witnessed how many cookies he can eat in a week.
Well, when my mom began providing him with these molasses cookies grandpa was thrilled. After suffering an illness this summer and recovering, grandpa did not have much of an appetite for anything but mom's molasses cookies. He now claims that these cookies sustained his life! : ) Hence the reason we now call them "Grandpa's Molasses Cookies".
Grandpa's Molasses Cookies:6 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups molasses
2/3 cup cold water
Directions: Sift flour baking soda, salt, allspice, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. In another bowl mix coconut oil ( I generally melt the oil first, as it makes it easier to combine), sugar, molasses and water. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture. Chill dough for 1-2 hours. Cut out 1/2" rolled dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
My mom made some changes from the original recipe. Instead of using lard or shortening we use coconut oil, making for a healthier and moister cookie. We also like to add a little more water too... so rather than 2/3 cup you may like to try 3/4 cup. But it is up to the individual if they prefer a drier or moister cookie.
As a side note, grandpa found that even his cat Jasper enjoys these cookies.But of course, he is an unusual cat.
This year I am not baking my traditional variety of cookies, as I am hoping to keep to a healthier selection. These cookies lend themselves well to Christmas baking since they can be cut into fun shapes, and the spices are very festive in flavor.