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What's Cooking: She uses grandma's special recipe for gingersnaps

December 7, 2016

Jackie Spears makes her grandmother's gingersnap cookies, soft on the inside, crackled and sugar-y on the outside. Photo by Pat Eby Jackie Spears remembers the gingery softness of cookies her grandmother Thelma Eaton made especially to Jackie’s liking. Today, Spears counts cooking as one of her hobbies. “Everybody in my family cooked,” she says. “Both grandmothers, my mother — back then, women often stayed home. I learned from each of them. When I talk with my cousins, we all remember Grandma Eaton cooked not from recipes, but from memory.” She inherited her grandmother’s everyday plates decorated with a German village scene sketched in green on beige. She uses them to serve these cookies each holiday. Spears’ abiding love for history led her and her brother to organize family photos and mementos and to research the family genealogy. It’s a hobby she continues to this day. How did your grandmother bake these cookies to accommodate your tastes? I never cared for nutmeg, so she made these cookies without nutmeg and with extra ginger. There’s no “snap” in these cookies, they’re more of a soft cookie with a crinkled top. She modified the recipe from her German heritage to make them the way I liked them. What are your first memories of these gingersnaps? Grandma Eaton used the same...

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