I was feeling sad that I had hardly done any Christmas cookie baking this season, so the other day I whipped out my favorite Gingersnap recipe and made some. These are so tasty and zingy and make a great pair with some creamy egg nog.
Preheat oven to 350º F.
¾ cups shortening
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
Cream together. In a separate bowl combine:
1 ¾ cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 to 3 tsp. ground ginger (depending on how spicy you like it!)
Mix well, then add to the molasses mixture, mixing with an electric mixer until the batter is well combined. Roll the cookie dough into walnut-sized balls using your hands. Put a ½ cup of sugar in a bowl and roll the dough balls in the sugar until coated well. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten the balls slightly with your fingers. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The longer the time, the “snappier” they’ll be!
P.S. A funny story about making these cookies. It was Christmas Eve. I wasn't going anywhere. But I didn't have any plain shortening for making the gingersnaps. I only had my heavily bacon-scented lard sitting in the fridge that I had rendered myself. (Alas, I had let it cook far too long!) It was the only thing I had and I didn't want to use up my butter while I had the lard, so the lard went into the bowl with the sugar. The whole time I was making the cookies the kitchen reeked of bacon. I couldn't even smell the molasses, the bacon smell was so strong. My heart was filled with despair! Here I was trying to make my Christmasy cookies and this blasted bacon smell was ruining everything! I pretty much gave my cookies up for lost. I did persevere, however, and popped the cookies into the oven, thinking I had just wasted a bunch of time. Much to my surprise and gratitude, the bacon flavor baked out of them! It was my own Christmas miracle. :-) And we've been enjoying them immensely. In a few of the cookies, though, you can just barely get a slight hint of bacon. But if using bacon crumbles on a dessert is good enough to use on Top Chef, then why not in my cookies, I ask you? :-)