Ginger, you spicy wench

Tis the season, and all that, so I wanted to make ginger cookies. I don’t much care for rock solid gingerbread, so I found a recipe for a softer gingersnap. After comparing it with a few other recipes I had, I decided to combine the better elements of each. I used this recipe as a base, because I was intrigued by the use of shortening. It’s not an ingredient that’s new to me, and after rationalizing for a bit I agreed that this isn’t the kind of cookie to highlight a buttery flavor, so why use butter? And so a decision was made.

The rest of the tweaks were purely for the enjoyment of my nostrils. The base recipe called only for cinnamon, while others asked for allspice, nutmeg, and ground cloves. So I put them all in. A teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice probably would have done the trick, so maybe I’ll try that out next time instead.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger -chopped into small pieces
  • Turbinado sugar for decorating (one recipe suggested cinnamon sugar, I’m sure that’s good too!)

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.

In a mixer, cream the shortening and sugars. Beat in the egg and molasses. Sift 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the shortening mixture and stir thoroughly to blend. Sift in the rest of the dry stuff into the mixer and mix until a soft dough forms.

Sometime in the midst of this I chopped up a few pieces of crystallized ginger to put in the mix. I tried to make them super small so they’d spread out better in the dough. It didn’t seem to work too well, I don’t think they made it into every cookie. You could either use more or maybe just mix it in better than I did 🙂

Also, I didn’t heed the suggestion to put flour on the knife to make cutting easier. That’s not because I’m a rebel. I just plum forgot. Look at that little ginger heart there, so cute.

Pinch off small amounts of dough, roll into 1″ balls, and roll them in the coarse sugar to coat. (They probably don’t need any extra sugar, but it will help highlight all the little wrinkles that will form during baking.) Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased or lined cookie sheet. These cookies will spread so give them their space! Bake for around 10 minutes. I had some leftover dough so I made 3 mondo cookies for the fam for next week.

These cookies smell like the holidays, which is such a nice treat on a cool day. Hope yours is roasty toasty as well!

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