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This recipe was used by the Sisters of Charity in Québec during the 18th century. It appears in their housekeeping records, and it seems that these cookies were always in ready supply, kept in a tin box, to be given to children as special treats and rewards.
They have a delicate, soft texture, are slightly raised, and should have a sweet and just discernable taste of ginger. You will find that these biscuits will please both the young and the old.
Yield: Approximately 60 cookies, 2 ½ inches in diameter
Sift the ginger with the flour and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the lard and butter together; add the sugar and continue to beat. When light and creamy, add the molasses and mix in well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the flour and the milk alternately, for at least 12-14 separate additions. Keep in mind that the eggs and the air are your only leavening agents. This recipe does not use baking soda or baking powder.
Drop by spoonsful (a level tablespoon measure is best) on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Place 3 inches apart on all sides, because the cookies flatten out and should not be allowed to touch. This spoils their appearance and prevents even cooking. Bake in a hot oven, about 400 - 425oF for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges turn dark brown. Watch carefully because they burn very quickly.
Remove from oven and cool 3-4 minutes. Remove from sheets and place on racks. Cool completely and place waxed paper between layers. Store in tightly closed containers, in a cool dry place. These cookies freeze well, but must be kept separated. Allow to thaw 4-5 hours or overnight.