This has to be Hubby's favorite Christmas Cookie. Honestly, I think I'd be safe saying that it's his favorite cookie, period. Aside from the Holiday connection, we share a wonderful summertime memory attached to this sweet, spicy cookie, but I won't go into that here. If you'd like to read about it though, just click here and you can find out just why it's so special to us. I spent years trying to find a recipe for these cookies and I was shocked when I found out that it was practically at my fingertips all along. The only name I ever knew for them was "The Ridge Road Lady's Cookies".
They're a simple, easy cookie that pack a warm, spicy, punch and they've become such a Christmas tradition in our family, that I shudder to think what might happen if I didn't make them each year. Coal in my stocking, perhaps?
Old Fashioned Ginger Cookies
- 3/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar, Plus 3 Tbls
- 1/4 Cup Molasses
- 1 Lg Egg
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 Tsp Ground Cloves
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt and all of the spices together. In a separate bowl, cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the egg and the molasses and continue to beat until combined. Slowly, mix in the dry ingredients and beat or stir til you have a smooth dough. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
After the dough has chilled, use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon and portion out scoops onto a sheet of waxed paper. Roll each scoop of the dough into approximately 1 inch balls, then toss each one in the remaining 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar til well coated. Place the balls onto a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Check from time to time, making sure that they don't overbake.
Some people flatten the balls slightly with the palm of their hand before baking, but I like them to come out as thick and chewy as possible. If you prefer a more crisp cookie, you can replace half or all of the shortening with butter. (Butter will always make cookies spread out more during baking)
Cool the finished cookies on a wire rack and then put them into an airtight container for up to a week. (if they last that long!) They can be wrapped tightly or placed in zip top bags and go into the freezer for up to 3 months. Just thaw them at room temperature for about an hour before serving. Enjoy!
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