Whether these spice cookies are so-named because they were as big as the lily pads on Uncle Joe's pond—or from a corruption of the 'grogger', slang for a rum drinker—is unknown since the origins of the name are lost in time. Thank goodness the recipe wasn't!
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup molasses
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rum or milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, ginger, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg and allspice; beat until combined.
- Beat in the molasses, water and rum or milk until combined. Stir in flour until just mixed.
- Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 4-inch cookie round cookie cutter*, cut dough into circles. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are just lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen (4-inch diameter) cookies.
*A small coffee can, with both ends cut off and sharp edges filed, can be used in a pinch.