Lumberjack Cookies


Lumberjack Cookies

There is a place in Massachusetts called Old Sturbridge Village ( ). It is a living museum depicting life in New England around 200 years ago.  I have very vivid memories of going there as a young child.  I absolutely loved the place. I loved being transported into an earlier time and tasting the life as people would have lived it.   I haven’t been there since I was little, and have no idea how wonderful it would seem as an adult now, but I cherish those childhood memories.

When I think of Old Sturbridge Village I also think about my Aunt Andrea.  She was someone who could actually have been transported back in time and lived comfortably in such an environment.  She was incredibly talented, handy and capable, and was a major influence in my life in my late teenage years.  We shared an interest in cooking and other things homemade, and I am grateful for all the time that I was able to spend with her.

This recipe is adapted from a little book of recipes from Sturbridge Village that Andrea gave me years ago.  The book dates back to 1964 (which means it was published well before I ever went there!) and is called “Hot from the Oven”. The recipe makes the bold claim that the dough will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator – I am not sure I would trust in that, but the cookies are delicious, and one batch goes a long way (about 4 dozen).


  • 1 c finely ground raw sugar
  • 1 c butter
  • 1 c golden syrup (or molasses)
  • 2 lg eggs at room temperature
  • 4 c flour
  • 1 t bi-carb soda
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • ½ c sugar extra

Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Beat in golden syrup, then add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth and well blended.  Sift dry ingredients together and stir into sugar mixture one cup at a time, mixing well with each addition.

Place additional sugar in a wide shallow bowl. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and coat with sugar (you may need to refrigerate the dough for a while to make the it easier to manage because it will be soft and quite sticky). Place cookie balls on lined baking sheets about 5cm apart.

Bake at 175C for about 10-12 minutes or until set and very slightly darker around the edges.  Leave on the trays for only about a minute once out of the oven before moving them onto a rack to cool.

About baking bohemian

My name is Jen and I am the baking bohemian. My blog identity comes from the cultural background of my mother’s family, (Bohemian), and my mother’s more left wing lifestyle (bohemian). The big ‘B’ Bohemian refers to the rich cultural heritage of our family that emigrated from Bohemia when it was still its own country (it now comprises two thirds of the Czech Republic). Food featured prominently in the family and broader social life of that part of my family. No social interaction was without sustenance, and any celebration, large or small, was an invitation to cook up a storm. My own family emigrated from the United States to Australia when I was a child. For the most part we lived with our mother, and my dad eventually moved back to the US. The little ‘b’ bohemian relates to the semi-alternative lifestyle we led with our mother. I hesitate to refer to her as a hippy, for that conjures up so many misconceptions, but certainly she was on that side of the fence. She was probably more eccentric than radical at the end of the day, but she could really cook. We always set extra plates at the dinner table because inevitably people would visit at dinner time. I started cooking when I was about eight. Cookies. Obviously I was motivated by desire! I loved cooking, I loved that the kitchen was always, in every way, the heart of the house, so I was always part of anything else that was happening while I was cooking. I loved people loving my food. With all the different things that I have done in my life and am interested in, food has remained my most consistent and enduring passion.

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