Marshlands Inn crispy gingersnaps, a molasses cookie with attitude

Marshlands Inn gingersnaps, crispy thin and beautifully spiced
Marshlands Inn gingersnaps are crispy thin and beautifully spiced

Carting kids back and forth from university was a big part of mom and dad’s life for many years. They often delivered us to university in the fall and almost always came to pick us up at the end of the school year, rented truck loaded to the gunwales with trunks, beds and sometimes extra friends.

Then there were the visits through the year, especially to Mount Allison in Sackville N.B. where my brother Erik studied music. He’d have recitals and other performances that mom and dad would go up for. For these visits they’d always book into the Marshlands Inn, a storied bed and breakfast that was known for its gracious hospitality and food. In particular it was the Marshlands gingersnaps that were famous in our house. Mom said that when she and dad arrived back at the Inn after an evening performance they’d be treated to these crispy-thin gingersnaps and hot cocoa in the library.
These are true gingersnaps — they have a snap to them when sliced thinly and cooked just right.
Marshlands Inn gingersnaps are crispy thin and beautifully spiced

Things weren’t so fancy at St. F.X. where my brother Timothy and I went to school. One April when dad came to Antigonish to bring us home he celebrated the end of the school year with us at the Triangle Tavern (we had to sneak him in the back door because the line-up was too long), he ended up playing with the band then he bunked in residence with Timothy. St. F.X. was his alma mater too, so it was great fun to be together on campus. (These memorable Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns are another one of my great university memories.) 

These gingersnaps are ice-box cookies, meaning you mix them up, roll them into logs and leave them in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake them. It’s the ultimate in convenience baking.  

Marshlands Inn Gingersnaps

Makes about 5 dozen cookies (this is half of the original recipe) 

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (the original recipe called for chicken fat)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (just enough to make a soft dough that will hold its shape)
  • 1 heaping tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp ginger
  1. Add sugar to the melted butter. Stir in molasses.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and ginger into the wet ingredients.
  3. Blend into a soft but not sticky dough. Shape into a log, wrap and chill for a few hours or over night.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F, slice as thinly as possible, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes. Watch closely so the edges don’t brown too much.

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