One perk of being Jewish is that it’s easier to get away with doing things that are typically associated with Christmas at times other than Christmas. Since I’m not supposed to be eating candy canes in the first place, who cares if I eat them after December 25th? I use this weak logic to justify making ginger cookies well into the new year. Isn’t life swell?
This recipe comes from my aunt’s friend Patty (heck, she’s my friend too). It’s the kind of recipe that makes you feel like it’s the holidays even if it’s, oh, the middle of January. If you think that’s it’s still reasonable for me to be making these cookies, talk to me in June when I’ll probably be whipping up another batch.
These cookies are so freaking good. I mean, I’m a friend to all cookies, but these are special. Patty even got a shout-out on NPR because they were so good. You’re not going to questions NPR, are you?
Chewy Ginger Cookies
- ¾ cup shortening
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger*
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- Raw or granulated sugar, for rolling
*You can also add crystallized ginger for a more intense ginger flavor. I recommend processing about ¼ cup of crystallized ginger with the molasses into a paste in the food processor then adding it where you would normally add the molasses.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream shortening and sugars until fluffy. Add molasses (or ginger molasses paste) and egg. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Stir dry ingredients into molasses mixture. The dough will be slightly crumbly but should hold its shape, if it doesn’t, add a little more molasses as necessary. Scoop dough into balls (I use a 1½ tbsp scoop) and roll in bowl of sugar. Place on greased or parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 7-8 minutes and remove cookies when they look slightly underdone.
Makes 2 dozen