THE WINTER PEOPLE tells three intertwining stories. The one that sets the others in motion takes place in 1908 in a farmhouse in West Hall, Vermont where Sara Harrison Shea lives with her husband Martin and their beloved seven-year-old daughter, Gertie. Gertie will be lost, Sara and Martin will lose everything trying to cope with her death in their own heartbroken ways, and the desperate choices they make will change many lives – but before all of that, Gertie and Sara loved to cook together. Molasses cookies were always Gertie’s favorite.
This recipe is inspired by Soft Ginger Cookies, a recipe from the 1920s that uses ingredients Sara would have had in her pantry. Although Sara and Gertie had limited access to spices, I have added cloves and cinnamon to add complexity.