I wanted to get things started by sharing my go-to holiday cookie recipe. The first cookies I ever baked as an adult were these cookies. This was five years ago, after I had moved to Los Angeles and wanted to pass out plates of cookies to the neighbors in my apartment building.
I didn’t have a go-to recipe at the time, but I knew what I was looking for. I’m a big fan of gingersnaps (I’ll share my family recipe for those later on) but my ideal cookie has to be chewy. I started with a molasses spice cookie, then added more ginger flavor. These cookies are great, because they’re really the best of both crunchy and chewy worlds. Since the cookies are rolled in sugar, the outside crust is quite crunchy (hence the name, crinkle). The interior, however, is still nice and chewy.
This recipe basically takes the traditional molasses crinkle cookie and adds a boatload of ginger – one tablespoon grated fresh ginger and a half cup of chopped candied ginger. That might be a lot, but the cookies aren’t too spicy. Instead, they just have a nice kick.
I usually roll my cookie dough in granulated sugar, but I had some raw turbinado sugar from another cooking project and wanted to try it. Because the raw sugar is in much larger crystals, it changes the crunchy-chewy balance of the cookie and makes it much crunchier. The cookies also spread more, which increased their crunchiness. I learned it’s better to stick with the granulated white sugar.
This recipe makes 36 cookies.
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening (you want to use shortening because it will make the cookies chewier)
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
Step 1. Set the oven to 375 degrees F, positioning two racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Then grate the fresh ginger and finely chop the candied ginger. The finer the better for the candied ginger, just don’t let it become a solid sticky mass.
Step 2. Beat the brown sugar and shortening together at high speed until creamed. Then add the fresh grated ginger, egg and molasses and beat again. Finally, add the chopped candied ginger and mix until combined.
Step 4. Using a small spoon, take a scoop of dough and shape it into a ball – a little smaller than a golf ball. Roll in sugar until no more sticks. Place on a cookie sheet, nine cookies to a sheet. Bake for 11 minutes, cool for five, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.