Hum Muds (Ginger Cookies from Girard College)

"This recipe was LOST IN TIME of how these Hum Muds were made at GIRARD COLLEGE in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Girard College was a completely self-sufficient live-in school for boys that was built according to the Will of Stephen Girard. My father, whose name then was Michael Levy, entered the school in 1915 at the age of four. The school was known for their wonderful ginger cookies that the students called HUM MUDS, which meant MUD PIES FROM THE HOME. Through the years there have been many attempts to make these cookies, but only this is the correct recipe."
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Ready In:
25 cookies




  • Cream the sugar, lard, salt and spices together and beat them until light.
  • Add the molasses and beat 3 minutes.
  • Add 3/4 cup cool water and beat for 1 minute.
  • Fold in the flour.
  • Dissolve baking soda in 1/4 cup cool water and add to the other ingredients, mixing until smooth.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Grease and lightly flour a baking sheet.
  • Wet hands with cold water and make patties of batter, then placing them onto the baking sheet and pat them down.
  • Dip a knife into cold water and use the knife to score the gingers.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.

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  1. In late 1960s when i a attended as a student, they made 2 different Hum Muds. The dry ones served with dinner as a desert (and other times) and then the soft chewy yummy ones served on hollidays. These are the yummy ones. I went for 2year.s and my mom pulled me out due to the social unrest over the will. I never went back to 8th grade and will say my future would have been better if i had comleted. These are great. Kevin Dixon Hope J. Black, R. Galvani, Hearns, Drummond bros, J Ostright, and Coles bros all did well in life.
  2. Thank you for this recipe. I can't wait to make for my father, a Girard College Alumni. I remember him bringing these home when I was a little girl after he attended Founders day. I couldn't wait to take a bite. I hope he enjoys them again. They were easy to make and smell great. They look like them too. Now i need to wrap in plastic and bring to his house. I had hope to find this recipe and there it was. Thank you again.


  1. I found this recipe in an old Betty Crocker Cookbook back in the early ‘70’s. I attended Girard from 1953 - 63, and every Friday we looked forward to the “Hum Muds”. "True old-fashioned ginger cookies. A happy tradition at the famous Girard College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The boys hoard them ... old grads long for them." 1/2 cup soft shortening Mix thoroughly ... 1 cup brown sugar (packed) 11/2 cups dark molasses Stir in 2/3 cup cold water Sift together and stir in ... 6 cups sifted flour 2 tsp. soda 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. allspice Chill dough. Roll out very thick (1/2"). Cut with 21/2" round cutter. Place far apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until, when touched lightly with finger, no imprint remains. TEMPERATURE: 350O (mod. oven) TIME: Bake about 15 minutes AMOUNT: 22/3 doz. flat, puffy 21/2 cookies


I was born in 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in this GREAT United States of America. I have since resided in Baltimore Maryland, Atlanta Georgia, Orlando Florida, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Los Angeles California, Selma Oregon, and now in Albuquerque New Mexico. I have enjoyed not only eating, but cooking all my life.
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