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Molasses Ginger Cookies

This was originally my grandma Lucy’s recipe.  I added the fresh ginger.  You can use powdered ginger* if you like, but fresh gives you the best flavor.  My youngest daughter, Emily, is a very picky eater, but she does enjoy these cookies.  I like them best as a mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea. The recipe can be easily converted to gluten free.  For Thanksgiving last year I used it to make a ginger cookie crust for cheesecake.  Wow!  Versatile as well as delicious.  See notes on this in “Final Thoughts” below.

The Stuff You Need:

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

2 cups Flour – or – 2 cups all purpose gluten free baking mix

1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Salt

3/4 cup Vegetable Shortening

1 cup Sugar

1/4 cup Molasses

1 teaspoon grated fresh Ginger

1 Egg

1/4 cup Raw sugar for garnish (optional)

Here's How It's Done:

  1. Combine the flour, cloves, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.*
  2. In a larger bowl, combine the shortening and sugar, stirring until smooth.  You can use a mixer or food processor, if you have one.  If not, use the back of a large spoon.
  3. Add the molasses, the grated ginger, and the egg; stirring after each ingredient to combine thoroughly.
  4. Get your dry ingredients from step 1 and gradually add this to the batter in the larger bowl.
  5. When everything is mixed together, chill the dough in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  6. Using your hands, roll the dough into 1″ balls and place on a baking tray, 3 or 4 per row, evenly spaced.**
  7. Using the bottom of a drinking glass or canning jar, gently flatten the cookie balls.***  Then, dip the glass or jar into the raw sugar and gently press the sugar onto the top of each cookie.
  8. Set the oven to 375 degrees and preheat.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. When done, use a metal spatula to move the cookies off the baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.****
  10. If the cookies are too soft to move yet, let them set up on the tray for a minute or two.


*If you want to use powdered ginger, add 1/2 teaspoon of it to the dry ingredients in the first bowl.

**If you own a 1 & 1/2 tablespoon scoop, you can really save some time here.  Just scoop, level the top by scraping off the edge of the bowl, and drop onto your sheet tray, spacing evenly.

***You can press down the cookies with a fork instead, making an “X” or “+”, then sprinkle the raw sugar on, if desired.

****If you have a large pizza pan with holes in it, flip it upside down and it doubles as a cooling rack.

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