Another holiday standby, Moravian molasses cookies are traditionally rolled paper-thin and are ultra-crisp. This recipe originated in Old Salem, North Carolina, one of the first Moravian settlements in the United States in 1753, or so says Sharon Tyler Herbst. I doubt the settlers used vegetable shortening though. And once they mixed the dough, I doubt refrigeration was an option. Of course, as a Christmas tradition in the northern hemisphere, the climate would have been on their side.
But after mixing the ingredients, spending a little while resting in a cool place for the ginger, molasses, cloves, cinnamon and mace to marry is essential. And I mean marry. Not mingle, then maybe cohabit. Polyamorously marry, settle down and consider procreating.
Ms. Herbst’s version of the recipe makes lots and lots, and when I tired of cutting out a flock of sheep, I made big four-inch circles. Most are tucked away in the freezer for the holidays.