Ginger Cookies

By Sarah Fox

I love decorating and baking for the holidays. Traditional holiday treats in my family include stollen (a German bread filled with fruit and nuts) as well as ting-a-lings, forgotten cookies, and shortbread. However, my favourite holiday treat is gingerbread, especially when it’s decorated with Canadian Smarties (which I’m told are different from American Smarties). The recipe below was passed down from my maternal grandmother and has been in my family for more than ninety years. If I could bake only one thing for Christmas, it would be my grandma’s gingerbread. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups molasses (table molasses is the best to use)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 6 cups flour
  • pinch of salt


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and molasses.
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water.
  3. Add the ginger and salt to the flour.
  4. To the butter mixture, gradually add the flour mixture alternately with the hot water.
  5. Mix until combined.
  6. Optional: chill the dough in the fridge for two hours.
  7. Roll out and cut into shapes.
  8. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes.

There’s some shady business in Shady Creek, Vermont, this spring—in the third mystery by USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox featuring pub owner and amateur sleuth Sadie Coleman . . .
Sadie is delighted to have booked famous romantic suspense novelist Linnea Bliss for an event at The Inkwell, her literary-themed pub, housed in a renovated grist mill. The author and her personal assistant Marcie are staying at Shady Creek Manor, a grand historical hotel that was once a private mansion and is rumored to still hold hidden treasure somewhere within its walls. 
But the hotel’s storied past is nothing compared to its tragic present when Marcie plummets to her death from an open window on the third floor. After Sadie discovers signs of a struggle in the room, it’s clear that someone assisted the assistant out the window. But Marcie is new in town—who would have a motive to kill her?
In between pulling pints and naming literary-themed cocktails, Sadie takes it on herself to solve the case, wondering if the crime is connected to the vandalized vehicles of a film crew in town to do a feature on local brewer Grayson Blake, with whom Sadie shares a strong flirtation. Or could the poor woman’s defenestration have anything to do with the legendary treasure? As Shady Creek Manor prepares for a May Day masquerade ball, Sadie is determined to unmask the killer—but when she uncorks a whole lot of trouble, will she meet a bitter end?