The paper was brown and faded and stuffed in the back of a drawer. A long time ago it had been torn out of a small spiral notebook and now my mother smoothed it between her fingers, brought it close to her face, and smiled.
"I used to eat this out of the bowl," she said.
"The dough for Grammy's molasses cookies."
It turns out that crumbled piece of paper held a recipe, taken from God knows where, for spiced molasses cookies. Once upon a time my grandmother would bake them for my mother, who hadn't had them in over forty years.
My mother and I turned around and made these cookies almost immediately. She wanted to taste, and by tasting, remember. I wanted to share in a little piece of her history. Truthfully, I was expecting these cookies to be just "ok." They sounded a little boring. I assumed they would only be worth making for the value of nostalgia. Boy, was I wrong.
These are one of the only spiced cookies where I didn't take one bite and say, "Hmm, I wish there was more flavor." The texture is perfectly chewy and there are just the right amount of raisins. They taste of dark brown sugar and molasses, with hits of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I'll be making these for a long time. For my own grandchildren, perhaps.