Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Perfect Ginger Cookie

Though not a lifelong quest, I do love a good ginger cookie that isn't too sweet, or too heavily gingered, or overly gooey or excessively crunchy.  A friend shared a dairy-free version the other evening after dinner.  Even knowing what these morsels didn't contain, I still devored more than one as if they were the last cookies on the planet.  Yet, still not quite perfect. 

Today, I tried a recipe shared by our neighborhood babysitter.  Scrumptious.  Perhaps not perfection, but pretty darn close.  And the 3-plus dozen that I made this afternoon are . . . gone (hence, no photo to share).

Yummy Molasses Ginger Cookies

1 cup sugar (plus a little extra for rolling)
3/4 cup shortening (or substitute equal part butter at room temperature)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all dry ingredients and set aside.  Cream sugar and shortening.  Stir in egg and molasses.  Mix in dry ingredients and stir by hand until blended.  Chill dough for 15-30 minutes (for easier handling, but not necessary).  Form 1-inch balls of dough, roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 9-11 minutes (until you see lots of cracks on the top).  Makes 3-4 dozen.