Take half a pint of molasses, a small cup of soft butter, a gill and a half of water, a heaping tea-spoonful of soda dissolved in a table-spoonful of hot water, and one even table-spoonful of strong ginger, or two if weak. Rub butter and ginger into the flour, add the water, soda, and molasses, and while doing it, put in two table-spoonfuls of vinegar. Roll it in cards an inch thick, and bake half an hour in a quick oven.
One cup of butter, two cups of sugar or molasses, one cup of water, one table-spoonful of ginger, one heaping tea-spoonful of cinnamon and one of cloves, one tea-spoonful of soda dissolved in a small cup of hot water. Mix and add flour for a stiff dough, roll and cut in small round cakes. Omit the spices, and put in four or five table-spoonfuls of caraway seeds, and you have seed-cakes. Leave out all spice and seeds, and you have plain cookies.
For Doughnuts, use the recipe for Plain Sponge-Cake, adding flour enough to roll. Or take Plain Cake raised with eggs, and add flour enough to roll. Or take Dough-Cake, or Plain Loaf-Cake, and thicken so as to roll. Roll about half an inch thick and cut into oblong pieces. For Crullers, take plain cake raised with eggs, and thicken stiff with flour; roll it thin, and cut into strips, and form twisted cakes. More sugar and butter make it richer, but less healthful.
Have plenty of lard, or, better, strained beef-fat, quite hot; try with a small piece first, and, if right, there will be a bubbling. Turn two or three times to cook all alike, break open one to try if done, and when done, take up with a skimmer and drain well. If the fat is too hot, it will brown too quick; if not hot enough, the fat will soak into the cake. Remember that frying is the most unhealthful mode of cooking food, and the one most likely to be done amiss.