Curtis Country Store Sugar & Spice Ginger Cookies

Mary Jane's Cookies as seen at the Curtis Country Store

At first glance, July is NOT the time of year for a molasses cookie. The spices and the rich brown color might seem more appropriate for fall–or even winter.
I couldn’t resist using this recipe for this month’s Twelve Cookies of Christmas entry, however. These cookies taste perfect after a summer swim. (A glass of milk is the ideal accompaniment.)
I came across the recipe almost by chance. I was expecting guests last weekend, and I was determined not to turn on the oven. As Cole Porter wrote with such panache, it was too darn hot.
So I stopped at the Curtis Country Store in Charlemont, Massachusetts, and picked up some cookies baked by the talented Mary Jane Miller.
That evening I apologized to my guests for not serving them homemade cookies. As soon as I tasted one of Mary Jane’s ginger cookies, I realized that no apology had been necessary. I don’t think I’ve ever made a cookie better than these!
Mary Jane was kind enough to give me the recipe to share with you. Of course, if you happen to live near the Curtis Country Store, I encourage you to buy Mary Jane’s cookies. They are huge (I cut the size down a bit for home baking) and absolutely delicious—sort of a cross between a soft ginger cookie and a snickerdoodle. 

You may be tempted to substitute butter for the shortening in this recipe. If you do, the cookies will probably still taste great, but they’ll lose a little of their chewy yet firm consistency.

Mary Jane’s Cookies
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar plus additional sugar for coating
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups flour
Cream together the shortening and the cup of sugar. Beat in the egg and the molasses. Stir in the seasonings and soda, followed by the flour.
Chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
When you are almost ready to bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough into 2-tablespoon-sized balls and then roll them in granulated sugar.
Bake on parchment or silicone for 8 to 10 minutes. “They won’t look done, but you don’t want to over bake them,” says Mary Jane.
Cool the cookies on their sheet; they will flatten themselves out. 

Makes 30 cookies.

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6 Responses to “Curtis Country Store Sugar & Spice Ginger Cookies”

  1. Those are my favorite cookies from Curtis! They are the perfect combination of snickerdoodle and soft ginger cookie. Can’t wait to try the recipe.

  2. Cookies must be in the air… I made some yesterday. These look and sound delicious..they would be perfect for the holiday season-thanks!

  3. tinkyweisblat says:

    Happy Baking to both of you!

  4. Oh yum – these look delicious! (but can I be a pest and ask what a snickerdoodle is?)

  5. tinkyweisblat says:

    You are NOT a pest, Frayed! A snickerdoodle is a really yummy cinnamon cookie. Here’s a recipe:

  6. E. Sheppard says:

    These look scrumptious. Can’t wait to make and try them.

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