These dark and spicy molasses circles have been a fixture at Stan Hywet's Ohio Mart for years. In the mid-1990s the Castle Garden Club handed out the recipe along with the cookies, and savvy Beacon Journal readers preserved them. Don't fear the large quantity — this recipe is easily halved to make a smaller batch.

STAN HYWET'S GINGERBREAD MOLASSES COOKIES

2 cups light molasses

2 cups white sugar

1 cup margarine

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 tbsp. ground ginger

4 eggs, beaten

10 cups flour

3½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

Pinch cloves

Pinch black pepper

½ cup cold coffee

In a saucepan, combine molasses, sugar, margarine, butter and ginger. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Cool to room temperature. Beat in eggs.

In a large bowl, sift together 3 cups of the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and pepper. Add molasses mixture. Stir in coffee. Stir in about 7 cups of flour, or enough to make a stiff dough.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Roll thick on a floured surface and cut into circles with cookie cutters. Bake on lightly greased baking sheets at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool.

If desired, frost with a thin powdered-sugar icing flavored with vanilla, lemon or orange.

Makes 100 3-inch cookies.