Old-fashioned Ginger Snap Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, May 2, 1912: Exams began today. I am rather doubtful about what I made in Algebra.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Sounds like the Algebra exam was tough. When my children were young, I used to bake cookies to cheer them up when they got home after a rough day at school. I now receive emails from the university my daughter attends asking if I want to buy a care package that will be delivered to her during finals week.  Did Grandma’s mother have warm, fresh-baked cookies when Grandma arrived home from school to show she cared?

Here’s a recipe for Ginger Snaps that appeared in the April 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

Ginger Snaps

½ Cupful of Molasses

½ Cupful of Sugar

½ Cupful of Butter

Set on the fire and boil for five minutes. Cool, then add

1 egg

1 Teaspoonful of Ginger

1 Teaspoonful of Soda

1 Tablespoonful of Vinegar

Flour enough to roll

I used approximately 2 cups of flour. I rolled the dough out until it was thin and then baked in a 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes.

The ginger snaps were excellent and perfect with a glass of milk.

An aside—I love how old recipes call for a teaspoonful of this and a cupful of that instead of just using the terms teaspoon and cup. It’s so much more descriptive.

5 Responses

  1. Looks and sounds yummy to me! I think you are spot on about the description. We ‘abbreviate’ our lives so much now. Hmmm….maybe I will change how I write my recipes now. :)

    • It’s funny how the mixing and cooking directions were very sparse years ago–yet the measurements are more descriptive.

  2. I feel the urge to bake and eat ginger snaps… imagine that!
    The recipe has a conversational feel, as if Grandma was in the kitchen with you helping. Such a warm fuzzy feel.

    • Old recipes are so much fun. It does seem like the recipe authors are just giving helpful tips to a friend or family member. Sometimes they’re hard to interpret–electric/gas stoves vs. wood/coal stoves, etc. but it is always a fun adventure to make them. And, the ginger snaps turned out particularly well.

  3. […] May 2—Doubtful about how well did on algebra exam […]

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