Cookie Jar Ginger Snaps


Just about every recipe from my great-grandmother is guaranteed to be good. This one certainly lives up to expectations; I think I may need to put a lock on the cookie jar to keep myself out. While I was taking the “finished” picture of these cookies, I ate at least three of them. It may have been more, I’m not quite sure. The flavor balance is everything I could want in a classic ginger snap… spicy and sweet, with a ginger “bite” that doesn’t overpower, and a very mild salt finish.

You have been warned: addictive recipe ahead.

I advise not cutting corners when baking these cookies. Go ahead and sift the dry ingredients twice. It is mildly time-consuming, but the final texture is well worth it: incredibly crisp and crunchy, but light as a feather. By the same token, do cream together the sugar and shortening before adding everything else. This step works even more air into the final dough, ensuring the desired degree of lightness.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar, plus more to coat dough balls
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt twice.


In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar.


Mix the egg and molasses into the shortening mixture.


Add the sifted dry ingredients, mixing well.


Form the dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in excess sugar.


Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.


Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Click here for a print-friendly version.


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