Amish Gingersnap Cookies take me back to my Childhood
Soft and chewy Amish gingersnap cookies are an amazing mixture of sugar, flour, molasses, and spices. So much delight in every bite, and they take me back to my childhood, to Sunday church dinner. There was an older lady in church that would frequently make these and bring them for our dinner. I was always happy to see them on the platter because they were one of my favorites. So to me, these were considered Amish church cookies.
Old fashioned Gingersnap cookies for Amish Sunday Church
The Amish have church only every other Sunday. As New Order Amish we had Sunday School on the in-between weeks, but the Old Order just stay home or visit friends on the Sunday in between.
The Amish church is usually in someone’s home or barn (wherever they have room to seat everyone). They build their houses with a lot of removable doors instead of a wall, between rooms on the main floor. That way they can take the doors out and open up the joining rooms, giving them a large space to seat everyone in their church.
So it was a big deal to have church at your house. But everyone takes their turn, bringing it around to ours about once a year. One advantage was that you’d get your whole farm cleaned up every year.
It takes a lot of work getting ready for church. We’d start getting ready weeks ahead of time, cleaning up the barn: making sure all the corners were cleaned out and swept, windows washed, etc. The grass all around the farm was neatly trimmed, and of course, the house was cleaned from top to bottom. We’d have to move most of the furniture out of the main floor anyway, to put in the benches.
Best Gingersnap Recipe for Sunday Church dinner
After church, the hosts always feed lunch to everyone. Lunch consists of bread and buns, some type of bologna or lunch meat, cheese (sometimes we had cheese spread that was made by melting white American cheese), Amish peanut butter spread (click here for recipe), pickles, beets, and either cookies or pie (typically apple Schnitz or regular apple pie). Apple pie recipe here
We’d pile the peanut butter on our bun and top it with cheese and meat. I’m nearly drooling thinking about a bun with Amish peanut butter, and cheese spread (schmear cheese). It was so good!!! My kids think it sounds disgusting, but I love it!
Close friends or family of the hosts would often offer to bring along some bread and cookies, so we’d have a variety to choose from. And I always loved when these gingersnap cookies were a choice on the platter. They are so soft and full of flavor.
We’d make tables out of the benches we had sat on for church and everyone would sit around the table to eat. We’d have to take turns. The men had one table, ladies had another, and when they were finished we’d set the tables again and the young people would have their turn. Everyone would eat and then just stick around and visit with each other for a while.
How to make the Amish Molasses Cookies:
I use my kitchen aid mixer for everything, but you can use whatever mixer you have. Mix oil and sugar in a bowl. Add eggs and molasses and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined, scraping sides and bottom to get it all incorporated.
Now you can use your cookie scoop or just your hands to make balls. I dipped some of mine into a bowl of sugar before baking, for extra sparkle. It makes them look neat. But, if you prefer, you can bake them without. Place onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 9 – 10 minutes at 350.
After they were cooled, I dipped some of the cookies halfway into melted white chocolate and put on some sprinkles, to make a more festive Christmas cookie.
And I also discovered that you can use raw ginger instead of ground ginger. After I already had some ingredients mixed I made the sad discovery that I was out of ground ginger. So I googled it to see if I could use raw ginger, and sure enough. You need to use more of it, but I zested ginger root into my batter and you can’t tell the difference.
So now, go bake some gingersnap cookies, and enjoy this recipe for Amish cookies!
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Soft and Chewy Amish Gingersnap Cookies
- 1/2 c oil I use canola oil, but you can use whatever you prefer for baking
- 1/2 c light or Brer Rabbit molasses
- 2 large eggs
- 2 c sugar
- 4 tsp soda
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 1/2 – 4 c flour
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Mix sugar and eggs in mixing bowl. Add molasses and eggs, mix well.
- Add remaining ingredients, and mix until everything is well incorporated. I tend to go with the lesser amount of flour, because I don't like fat cookies.
- Roll into balls, and dip in a bowl of sugar, if desired.
- Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 9 – 10 min.
- Cool on a wire rack.