Unlike my Christmas cards, making cookies seems to be a perennial obsession. It doesn’t matter the season, nor the time of day —– cookies are an eternal addiction. I have to have one. Homemade are my preference, but when I’m out and about, a certain “Cookie Corner” store has the goods I need for a midday pick-me-up. During the holiday season however, my fetish for cookies peaks to new levels. My usual collection of baked goods I giveaway includes Russian Tea Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies, Calypso Cups, and Chocolate Krinkle Cookies.
These Chewy Ginger Cookies have always been a favorite of mine, and once I found this recipe, my Christmas cookie repertoire was complete. In case you’re wondering, you can find the original recipe here at Taste of Home, submitted by Bernice Smith. Thank you Bernice!
Unlike most recipes, instead of butter, we move up to the next level of fats which would be shortening. I don’t deal too much with shortening, except when it comes to certain cookie recipes. If you’re not a fan of shortening, hear me out. Don’t turn your nose up at shortening, it is needed for this type of cookie. Using butter will not be the same.
Cream together the shortening and sugar. You will be tempted to lick this mixture. You can, but it will have a somewhat greasier feeling to it. However, if you’re into tasting all things greasy, I won’t judge.
Next, you’re going to throw in more wet ingredients into this lard-fest. Molasses, vanilla, and egg will be joining this party. Turn on your mixer until everything has mixed well. Set that aside and move onto your dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, you’re going to combine a trio of spices, along with the usual flour, salt and baking soda. Ginger, cloves and cinnamon add to these cookies unique flavor. Those three spices are the essence of Christmas. Forget candles. Just bake these babies and your house will be wafting in Christmas smells.
For that reason alone, these must be Santa’s favorite. I just know it.
Mix them well. We don’t want one cookie tasting like cinnamon and the other like cloves. That would make for injustice to this recipe, and possibly lead to a ban by the Christmas Cookie Federation from ever baking a single Christmas cookie again.
I shutter to think.
Add your dry ingredients to your molasses mixture. Some recipes tell you to add your dry ingredient a little a time, mixing it well before adding more, but this one doesn’t. Just dump the whole thing in and turn on your mixer.
And here’s the “set”. Once you have all your dough on the pan, bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. These are one of those cookies that can be tricky to tell if they are done or not. Trust that they only need to bake for 10 minutes. They will be cooked. Any longer, and you’ll have to change the name of these cookies to Crispy Ginger Cookies. Seeing as I am person of equal rights, and if “crispy” floats your boat, then go ahead and leave those cookies in for an extra minute or two.
CHEWY GINGER COOKIES
Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Makes: 4 dozen cookies
3/4 cup shortening 1 cup sugar
1 egg 1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Grab your large mixing bowl, cream your shortening and sugar first. Once that’s done, add in your egg, molasses, and vanilla. Combine all those together. Set that bowl aside and grab another bowl. In that “other” bowl, mix together your flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt and cloves. Then add your dry ingredients to your molasses mixture. Turn your kitchen-aid on and mix until well combined. Scoop out your dough into 1 inch balls, roll each ball in some extra sugar, and place on a cookie sheet. As with all cookies, do not grease the cookie sheet. Turn your oven on to 375 degrees and bake for 10 minutes for some chewy goodness.
Eat one, or two, or three. No more than three though. Pack the rest up and give them away. Your friends and family will thank you, and so will your waistline. Right now, my waistline is not talking to me. It’s mad at me because I ate more than three.