Perhaps from a particular grandmother; perhaps not.
One thing I’ve noticed about recipes branded as “grandmother’s ginger cookies” is that they all tend to include molasses and sour cream or sour milk. They also tend to bake soft, like small cakes or black and white cookies. Usually they’re given a stiff white icing.
Now, every time I see one on a blog, the blog has a story about how this was their grandmother or great-grandmother’s recipe. But unless every grandmother in the county just coincidentally happened to make soft molasses cookies with a hint of ginger as her special cookie, I’d suspect the recipe had this name attached when grandmother got it.
From the box of A.D. from Lutz, Florida, by way of Pennsylvania in the 1940s, and originating in Ohio in the 1920s.
Grandmother’s Ginger Cookies
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup Crisco
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup sour milk
4-1/2 cups flour
Cream Crisco, sugar, and salt together. Add molasses and ginger, then egg. Dissolve soda in sour milk. [Extraneous word: Add] Mix thoroughly; add flour.
Drop teaspoonfuls of batter on well-greased pan and bake in a moderate oven.
Amount: 50 cookies.