This is my go-to cookie recipe for the holidays since it is full of flavor and can be made with ingredients that I typically have lying around the pantry. This year, I took a batch of these beauties to a cookie-swap at work, and they were gone by the afternoon.


  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves (or allspice)


Preheat oven to 375.

Cream shortening, brown sugar, molasses, and egg in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix into molasses mixture.

Using a tablespoon as a measure, form the dough into small balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Makes about 5 dozen.

Note: the dough for these cookies will be somewhat sticky – yet crumbly – at the same time. You’ll know it’s ready when the dough easily rolls into a ball without falling apart. If the dough doesn’t want to stick together, then you may need to add more molasses.


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