Thanksgiving Cookies

The cookies known as "Joe Froggers" were a favorite of the Mayflower voyagers and the generations that followed them. They were originally prepared by the families back home. Those who had baked the cookies usually cut their initials into each cookie as a fitting remembrance as the miles separated each family member. The "Joe Froggers" were stored in barrels on ship for sometimes several months. Even so, they were always soft and tasty. This is attributed to one ingredient to be found in the recipe. Can you guess what it is?* Here is the recipe:  

1 cup shortening

3/4 cups water

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon salt

7 cups flour

 2 cups dark molasses

1 teaspoon cloves

 2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon ginger

 1/4 cup rum (more if desired)

Cream shortening and sugar until light. Dissolve salt in water and mix with rum. Add baking soda to molasses. Sift flour with spices. Add liquid ingredients alternately with flour mixture to creamed mixture. Stir well between additions. Dough should be sticky. Chill overnight. In the morning, flour board and rolling pin. Roll dough 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cutter (each cookie should be the size of the inside of a coffee cup.) Bake in 375 degree oven from 10 to 12 minutes.

*(Did you guess correctly that the ingredient is rum?)

From Ann Allison of the Arizona Society of Mayflower Descendants. Submitted by Dorothy Hornus, public relations chair, General Society of Mayflower Descendants. "On the Eve of the 50th Anniversary of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Arizona, it is fitting that they share this story and recipe at the time of Thanksgiving."

Writes Anne: I made these in May (2004) and brought them to our Board Meeting in October and they were soft and tasty much to our surprise. So, they encouraged me to write about the Joe Froggers to send out for publications. I hope both your article and this one both make some publications. Nothing ventured nothing gained, right? -- Ann Allison

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For a Turkey recipe your Mayflower ancestors would have cooked, click here!

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