These are addicting. Soft, with a sugar crunch. And a really great ginger punch. Apparently they inspire poetry.
These are great for making extra to send in the mail to far away family and friends because they last for a long time and travel well. Or take them on a trip with you during the holidays! They could take the place of all that Dramamine? Well, maybe.
There’s one thing I learned about cookies when living as a single lady in a tiny one bedroom apartment: if you make a dozen cookies you will probably eat them ALL. So I started freezing homemade cookie dough, sometimes in logs or sometimes in little cookie balls so I could just take out 3-4 cookies (or slice a couple chunks off a log) and bake them as I wanted them. It was so nice to have an evening that included a warm gooey cookie, a glass of wine, and my favorite show. Add a cat and a blanket on the couch and it’s the ultimate feeling of cozy and self-care.
Gingersnap cookies as so comforting to me. My mom made them a lot when me and my brothers were growing up. We had this old cookie jar that she kept FULL UP. Way to go, Mom, how’d you manage to keep that up? I’ve resolved to keep my own cookie jar on the counter now, and not to let it get too empty.
The ginger in these is also super warming. I added extra ginger, both fresh and candied, so these have a really prominent ginger flavor but the sugar crust balances them so they are not too hot.
So go ahead, put some dough in your freezer for later. You’ll be glad you took such good care of yourself.
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (depending on how much you like cloves)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (peel removed)
- 1/2 cup chopped crystalized ginger (if you double the recipe, this should be 3/4 cup, it’s fairly strong in the cookies)
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup organic shortening at room temperature (I love the Spectrum Essentials All-Organic Vegetable Shortening)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons dark molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 egg or egg replacer
- extra sugar, for rolling the cookie dough in
- Sift together the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl or pie tin and set aside.
- Chop the crystalized ginger and grate the fresh ginger and also set those aside.
- In the bowl of stand mixer or with beaters in a large bowl, beat the shortening until it is a creamy consistency (this is called creaming). Add in the sugar, molasses and egg. If you are using a stand mixer, turn the mixer off while you add these things. Once all are added, beat for about a minute, then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula or spoon and beat again, this time until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the sifted dry ingredients. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed, as well as the bottom. When it looks mostly incorporated, add in the fresh ginger and the chopped crystalized ginger pieces.
- If you have the time, chill for 30 minutes. This makes rolling the cookies easier, but it’s not required.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put some sugar into a small bowl or on a rimmed plate. You will only need around 1/3 of a cup.
- Roll the cookies into small balls, 3/4 – 1 inch in size. Roll the balls around so that they are completely coated in sugar. Place on a rimmed, parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. If you keep an eye on the cookies in the last few minutes, you will see that they get a little puffy. You want to remove them from the oven before that puffiness is deflated. For my oven, they are perfect at 12 minutes when left to rest on the sheets for a minute after removed from the oven. Keep an eye on them, your oven may be different and require longer or shorter cooking time. For these cookies, they are best when erred on the side of under baked, rather then over baked.
- Remove from the oven and let “rest” on their hot cookie sheets for 1-2 minutes. Remove to cool on a rack and continue baking the rest of the dough.
- Alternatively, you can freeze as much of the dough as you like, in one large round disk for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the fridge before rolling into balls, coating with sugar, and baking as directed.
- These cookies are soft and chewy, with a slight outside crunch from the sugar coating. They have a strong ginger flavor without being to “spicy.” Even the pickiest eaters in my life love them.