Val’s Molasses Crinkles

As the kick-off entry in my new “Recipes” section, I am offering you my all-time favorite cookie recipe. This has undergone a variety of permutations over the past 25 years, but regardless of the variations, these cookies are always a favorite wherever I take them.

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (white is OK–but less healthful)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp ginger, ground
1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1/2 tsp sea salt
Crystallized ginger, chopped (1/4-1/2 cup–whatever you want)
Granulated Sugar and pieces of Crystallized Ginger (for top)

Mix first 4 ingredients. Add the rest. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour (unless you are in a hurry–I’ve done it both ways). Preheat oven to 325. Roll approx. 1″ balls of dough with hands. Dip tops in sugar. Place, sugar side up, on parchment-lined cookie sheet about 3″ apart. Embed a chunk of crystallized ginger in top of each cookie. Bake until BARELY set (12-15 minutes). Insides will be wet still. If cooked too long, when cookies cool they won’t be chewy. Transfer to wire rack for cooling. They are good also as ice cream sandwiches using vanilla or lemon ice cream!

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