When English still looked like this:

Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from euery shires ende
Of Engelond to Caunterbury þey wende,

(Chaucer, Canterbury Tales)

Gingivere, or “horn root,” was already gracing our tables. This is not without warrant. A friend to stomachs everywhere, ginger is often considered the cure-all folk remedy for ailing digestive systems. Despite its medicinal uses usually dispensed through tea or oil, I find my favorite way to consume ginger has more to do with cinnamon, molsses, and cookies. Here these ingredients are combined in magical ways to produce my favorite fall treat.

This recipe makes a VERY large batch, so beware. I usually half the recipe for about 2 dozen monster-sized cookies.

3 1/2 C. Sugar (plus extra for rolling dough)
1 C. Shortening
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
3/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
3/4 tsp. Allspice
2 tsp. Salt
5 C. Flour
2 T. Baking Soda

1 C. Dark Molasses
1/2 C. Water

Cream together sugar and shortening. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients (Cinnamon, Cloves…Soda). Add molasses and blend well. Gradually add water to make a pie crust consistency. Roll into walnut size balls and roll in sugar. Bake at 350F for 10-12 min. Sprinkle with extra sugar if desired. Please note: if you have slightly older baking soda, please let the dough sit about an hour before baking.

***add crystallized ginger pieces if desired