Cookies & Cocktail Hour

Although the holiday season has officially come to a close, there's still time in January to be cozy and eat sweets without feeling too guilty.  Why not have some friends over for Old Fashioned cocktails and gingersnaps?  The flavors of whiskey and orange are a perfect compliment to the ginger and molasses in my favorite gingersnap recipe, which hails from McCall's Magazine in the 1960's.  I can't imagine a more perfect wintry cocktail hour (especially if you have a fireplace on hand).

Old-Fashioned Cocktails (from Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide, original copyright 1935):

Into a old-fashioned glass, put a small cube of sugar, a dash of bitters, a teaspoon of water, and muddle well.
Add 2 oz. Blended Whiskey.  Stir.  Add a twist of lemon peel and ice cubes.  Decorate with slices of orange, 
lemon and a cherry.  (We recommend Robert Lambert Dark Cherries preserved in Merlot Syrup available at
www.robertlambert.com or Dean & Deluca.)

Gingersnaps:

3/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
4 T. molasses (1/4 c.)
2 t. baking soda
2 c. sifted flour
1/2 t. ginger powder
1 t. cinnamon

Mix: shortening, sugar, egg & molasses
Mix: flour, baking soda, ginger & cinnamon
Combine dry ingredients with shortening mixture.
Roll into balls and dip one side of each into sugar.
Bake 9 minutes at 350 degrees on an ungreased baking sheet.
(Tip: to ensure that the ginger snaps remain chewy and soft, remove cookies 
immediately from the hot baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.)