These cookies have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My grandmother gave my mom this recipe and my mom taught me how to make them. While my hard-working mother’s version of homemade cookies usually meant slice and bake Pillsbury from the grocery store, she would often make these. And I can see why. These are delicious and so very easy. While many baking recipes require you to soften butter ahead of time or require brown sugar (which even if you do have on hand is probably a solid lump), this recipe can be whipped up in five minutes flat and baked in another series of 8-9 minute batches. And it only requires ONE egg. Simple prep and few fresh ingredients? I’m in.
The only labor-intensive part is to roll the dough into little balls and coat in sugar – but you can do this while one batch bakes. That part is also tons of fun for kids to do. I make my balls quite small so they are bite-sized and easy to distribute into favor bags. This also reduces the baking time, so if you make larger ones, you may need to compensate.
The result is slightly spicy (from the ginger and cinnamon) and sweet (from the sugar) with the characteristic flavor of the molasses. They are soft and pillowy, but also firm at the edges. The inclusion of shortening makes them more cake-like, but they aren’t dense. Believe me, if you like cookies that aren’t overly sweet, these are the ones for you. They make excellent favors, hostess gifts, birthday treats, or in-a-pinch treats. I just LOVE hearing how much people enjoy these cookies!
Grandma’s Ginger Molasses Cookies
1 Cup White Sugar
3/4 Cup Shortening
2 Tbsp Molasses
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 Cups Flour
More white sugar for coating
Preheat oven to 350. Cream together the first four ingredients until combined in a stand mixer (or by hand – these really are easy cookies to do with minimal equipment, time, and ingredients). Measure out the spices (including salt and soda) and mix into the batter to distribute evenly. Add the flour one cup at a time and mix until it comes together to form a fairly doughy consistency. Roll into 1 inch balls (changing the size of the balls will affect cooking time, but you can do it if you want bigger cookies). Coat each ball lightly in sugar and place on parchment-lined baking sheet (or the silicone mats work as well). Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes (until you see slight browning on the edge of the cookie. Let rest for a minute or two and transfer to a cooling rack. Once cool, store in an airtight container for best results.