My German Nana’s Glorious Gingerbread Cookies

This is my favorite cookie of the Christmas Season – but only if it’s my Nana Phillips’ recipe. Alma Emma Reichmann Phillips was my father’s Maternal Grandmother who came from Essen, Germany.   It is a spicy gingerbread, and not the sugary version most often found in bakeries or pre-packaged offerings. Some don’t care for the spice heavy, old european style…. but I love it and it is 90% a hit when I make it for others – kids included!

gingerbreadcookies1-sign gingerbreadcookies2-sign


  • 2/3 Cup of Shortening OR 1/2 Cup of Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Molasses
  • 4 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Egg (Lightly Beaten)
  • 4-6 Tablespoons of Milk (Start with 4, increase to 6 depending on dryness of dough)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons of Ground Ginger
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

Cream the Shortening (or Butter) and sugar.  Add the Egg. Add the other ingredients in, one at a time.  Mix thoroughly and cover. Chill overnight.

Set oven at 350 degrees.  Break small sections of dough from container, and roll out on flour.  Cut into cookies.  Bake on lightly greased, or parchment paper covered baking sheets.  Cook for 10-15 mins, depending on Oven.  Set cookies on racks to cool.

Side Notes:
* You can roll the dough to as thick or thin as you would like the cookies prior to cutting them. Thinner will result in crisper, harder cookies – perfect for dunking.  (More like ginger snaps.)  Thinner will cook on least about of time in oven; perhaps even checking at 8 mins rather than 10 mins.

*Lightly sprinkle sugar over the cookies prior to baking. Too much will result in caramelization and burning – not good for this type of cookie.

*This recipe yields many cookies – depending on the size & shape of your cutters. You will get at least 3 dozen cookies from this recipe.


Please let me know if you give this a try, and how you find the flavor!  ♥


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