Thomas Jefferson's Favorite Christmas Cookie...Ginger Cakes! (Recipe from the Raleigh Tavern, Colonial Williamsburg)

December 16, 2015


Christmas just isn't Christmas without Gingerbread cookies! It comes to no surprise that Thomas Jefferson felt the same way.  One of his favorite desserts was what was known as Ginger close as you can get to our Ginger Bread Cookies! If you are ever on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg, you will easily find them at the Confectionery! 


Here is a holiday recipe for you... Merry Christmas!    




1 cup sugar, 2 tsps. ginger, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 and 1/2 tsps. baking soda, 1 cup margarine (melted), 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1 cup unsulfurred molasses, 3/4 tsps. vanilla extract (optional), 3/4 tsps. lemon extract (optional), 4 cups stone-ground or unbleached flour (unsifted) 


Combine the sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well. Add the melted margarine, evaporated milk, and molasses. Add the extracts if desired. Mix well. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly.  The dough should be stiff enough to handle without sticking to fingers. Knead the dough for a smoother texture. Add up to 1/2 cup additional four if necessary to prevent sticking.  When the dough is smooth, roll it out 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface and cut it into cookies.  Bake on floured or greased cookie sheet in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 10-12 minutes. The cookies are done if they spring back when touched.  


Accompany with a glass of Jefferson's favorite Madeira wine...if you must!


To purchase Thomas Jefferson-From Boy to Man on Amazon: )  

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Header photo courtesy of The Creator's Creations Photography, Charlottesville, Virginia
Author photo courtesy of KMS Photography, Charlottesville, Virginia

Marriage Bond Facsimile cover background courtesy of The Library of Virginia.

Book cover foreground image courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.