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Moravian Cookies (aka Gingercakes)


1 quart molasses

¾ pound brown sugar

¾ pound shortening

2 tablespoons cloves

2 tablespoons ginger

2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons baking soda

3 ¼ pounds flour


  1. Heat molasses, brown sugar, shortening, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon until shortening has melted. Mix in the baking soda and stir until dissolved. Note: Mixture will be very foamy. Allow to cool.
  2. When cool, add flour. Mix well and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  4. Roll dough out thin on a covered board with a covered rolling pin. Cut with cookie cutters.
  5. Bake until done, about 15−20 minutes. Cool and store in airtight containers.
Note: If you can’t make it to Old Salem and don’t feel up to giving it a go yourself, rest assured that many area bakers will gladly ship a taste of Moravian delights to you—Winkler Bakery, Salem Baking Co., Mrs. Hanes’ Hand-Made Moravian Cookies, and Dewey’s Bakery among them.
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