Recipe Review

I Tried the 1960s “Elevator Lady Spice Cookies” Reddit Is Obsessed With

updated Jun 20, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Grace Elkus

There seems to be a story behind every tattered, grease-stained recipe card in my mom’s recipe box. There’s the “So Easy Black Magic Cake” she swears is the precursor to Ina’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. There’s the extra-buttery Chex Mix my grandma used to mail to us long after she stopped cooking anything else. It’s all part of the charm of these beloved old-fashioned recipes.

Recently, I came across a 1960s spice cookie recipe on Reddit that perfectly (and hilariously) exemplifies this charm. The recipe was originally printed in the 1960’s cookbook The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken, who, according to the headnotes, received the recipe from a woman she met on the elevator. Bracken writes that she offered the lady one of her spice cookies, and the lady said “I can sure make a better spice cooky [sic] than that.” The lady brought her the recipe and Bracken agreed — they were better!

With a name like “Elevator Lady Spice Cookies” and a compelling story to boot, I knew I had to try them for myself. Here’s how it went.

Credit: Grace Elkus

How to Make Elevator Lady Spice Cookies

This is one of the easiest cookie recipes I’ve ever made. You’ll start by mixing together shortening, sugar, egg, and molasses. (I did this in a stand mixer, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes). You’ll then sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground ginger and add to the wet ingredients. (I slowly incorporated them with the mixer on low.)

Then, form the cookies into “walnut-sized balls” (mine were about two tablespoons each), place two inches apart on greased cookie sheets, and bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes. The recipe doesn’t specify a yield, but I got about 28 cookies.

My Honest Review of These Reddit-Famous Cookies

We’ve cooked through many hidden gems in the r/Old_Recipes subreddit, from Grandma’s Lemon Bars to the “Upvote Soup.” In fact, these cookies are very similar to the very popular Murder Cookies! But I think the Elevator Cookies might be the best discovery yet. They’re easy to make, requiring no fancy ingredients or tools, and are everything you could want in the best-ever spice cookie. They’re slightly crisp on the outside, perfectly chewy on the inside, and packed with warmly spiced flavor. They also stay good for days.

With so many recipes available at our fingertips, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole trying to find the perfect one. But time and time again, the old-fashioned classics prove to really hit the spot. This holiday season, if you’re in need of a reliable spice cookie everyone will love, I highly recommend these Elevator Lady cookies.

Credit: Grace Elkus

A Few Tips for Making Elevator Lady Spice Cookies

  1. Chill the dough before scooping. This cookie dough is pretty soft, which makes it difficult to cleanly roll into balls. Even just a 10-minute chill makes the process easier.
  2. Roll the dough in turbinado sugar. Who doesn’t love a sparkly cookie? After forming the dough balls, I like to roll each one in coarse sugar, which adds festive flair and extra crunch.
  3. Let cool 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. These cookies continue to firm up after they’re baked, so give them a chance to cool before attempting to move them.