I have been charged by my siblings to reproduce my mother’s “spice cookie” recipe. These were a fluffy (almost cakelike) cookie flavored with ginger, allspice, etc. I think I have found the source recipe in some preserved cookbook pages. It mentions Gold Medal flour by name so I assume the cookbook was in some way related to the flour but unfortunately the title does not appear on any of the pages I have. As it stands:
Mix together thoroughly
1/3 cup soft shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups black molasses
1/2 cup cold water
Sift together and stir in
6 cups sifted Gold Medal Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 3 tbs cold water
Chill dough. Roll out very thick (1/2”). Cut with 2-1/2” round cutter. Place far apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 until when touched lightly with finger no imprint remains (15-18 min). Makes 2-2/3 dozen.
My first problem here is to replace the shortening - the entire family has now entered the world of “zero trans fats”. I tried softened butter but that produces a flatter, crisper cookie instead of a puffy one. Would using small cubes of frozen butter and mixing lightly as with biscuit dough help? Would a low-fat spread with a higher water content, as mentioned in R’sCC, serve here?
Next, I am surprised to see baking soda but no baking powder. Does salt, soda, and water produce enough CO2 to get a strong lift?
Finally I seem to remember that we spooned the cold dough onto the cookie sheet rather than rolling and cutting it. This might have just been technique.
I would be happy to try any other recipe that you might have that produces a spicy, light brown, puffy result rather than reverse modifying this one. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!