Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chewy Ginger Cookies - Revisited

One of my all time favorite cookies are ginger cookies. Last year I made these chewy ginger cookies and I loved the way they tasted, but didn’t like the way they came out super thin and flat without any pretty crackles on the top.

I thought it was because I used all butter instead of the shortening  the original recipe called for. This year, while looking for cookie recipes, I went back to this tried and true recipe for the taste I loved. I made the first batch with shortening like the original recipe stated. It definitely didn’t flatten out like when I subbed all butter:

ginger cookies

Although this was good, and a great alternative for a dairy free cookie, to me, it was missing a little something extra.

Now I had to make more than one batch since I work with many people, so I made another double batch with part butter and part shortening.

For this final recipe, I used 2 parts (1/2 cup) butter to 1 part (1/4 cup) shortening. This was definitely THE recipe! This had the perfect crisp outside with a great chewy center. The crackles looked much better than the all shortening cookie, and of course  better than the all butter one where the crackles were nonexistent.

These were brought to work and it was a big hit.


Chewy Ginger Cookies
adapted from: an existing recipe, originally from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Bars 2008
printable recipe

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 375° F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, molasses and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Roll into 1-in. balls; roll in remaining sugar. Place 1-1/2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. For even cookies use a tablespoon size cookies scoop.

Bake at for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on cookie sheets until it can be easily transferred to wire racks to fully cool. Store in an airtight container.


  1. These look lovely, will try these this weekend maybe!!

  2. These look lovely, will try these this weekend maybe!!

  3. Not sure what went wrong...They didn't crackle at all on the top and spread like the Red Sea. I just took a little bite straight from the oven and they taste pretty good though. I used the recipe you included to a t. When the dough was done it wasn't thick enough to roll into balls so I refrigerated it overnight and just baked them now. Doesn't really seem to have hardened them up that much though...perhaps I should have froken?

  4. I'm sorry they didn't turn out for you! What kind of pan did you use? I used dark nonstick half-rim baking sheets, without parchment or silicone mats. Maybe that may have been the difference?

  5. These were delicious and the chewiness is excellent. I never like adding shortening to any recipe but a little bit here was worth it. I substituted 3/4 c. brown sugar for 1.c white sugar and heaped up on the spiced (minus the cloves since I didn't have any). The cookies that were on the lower racks turned out better than the ones on top (not as much direct heat so they were a little raw when they came out -- perfect after cooling). Thanks for posting! :) 

  6. I never liked using shortening either until I had to start baking dairy free! I've found Spectrum shortening to be a bit better than Crisco since it's non-hydrogenated.


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