17th century Long Island found the Dutch inhabiting the west end with the colony of New Amsterdam, while the English inhabited the east end. The American present-day term "cookie" comes from koekje, the name the Dutch used for their little biscuits. A wonderful resource for the history of food can be found here: Foodtimeline.org.
The English biscuits could be savory or sweet. The little sweet cakes, or tea cakes, might be flavored with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, or anise seed. My Grandmother Horton baked little ginger cookies and every year we could be sure we would receive a box at Christmastime. The recipe has been handed down through at least four generations now. As I wrote The Southold Chronicles series, the crisp little ginger cakes became a favorite for my characters.
Here's the recipe from my Grandmother Horton. They are small and crisp, and melt in your mouth! If you prefer a chewier cookie, or cake as the Hortons in To Follow Her Heart call them, make the ball of dough slightly larger and experiment with the baking time.
Combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 2 level teaspoons baking soda in small bowl. In large bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup oil, 1 egg, 4 tablespoons molasses. Stir in flour mixture. Roll 1 rounded teaspoonful of dough into a ball - should be 1 inch diameter. Dip in sugar. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
REBECCA DEMARINO inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother; a love of horses, reading, and writing from her dad—and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Her new novel, TO FOLLOW HER HEART releases July 19th from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. She is the author of A PLACE IN HIS HEART and TO CAPTURE HER HEART, books one and two of THE SOUTHOLD CHRONICLES. A free prologue to THE SOUTHOLD CHRONICLES series is available here: www.RebeccaDeMarino.com And please visit Rebecca here: www.facebook.com/AuthorRebeccaDeMarino or on Twitter.