Grandma’s Black Cookies


My Grandmother, Beatrice McCallum, gave me this recipe about 40 years ago, which originated with Melissa McCallum, her mother-in-law. That would make this recipe at least 100 years old.  They are called Black Cookies for the addition of black pepper, which is of German origin know as Gingerbread. They are a little spicy, a little soft and only slightly sweet. The addition of a simple confectioners’ sugar frosting will help in that department.

1 c. sugar
1 c. shortening
1 c. molasses
2/3 c. whole milk
2 eggs
2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
6 c. all-purpose flour

1. Cream together sugar and shortening in large mixing bowl.
2. Add molasses, milk, eggs, and dissolved baking soda mixture. Mix well.
3. Sift together dry ingredients and slowly add to batter, 1 cup at a time, until well incorporated.
4. Divide dough into two portions, wrap well in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
6. Roll dough out onto floured surface to 1/8″ thick and cut into desired shapes.  (Cookies will puff up in baking.) Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets for 8-10 minutes.  Remove immediately to cooling racks. Decorate and store in airtight container.

Makes 6-8 dozen medium-sized cookies.

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