These cookies are a recipe that my grandparents would made together -- my grandmother making the dough, and my grandfather supplying “the muscle,” as my aunt would say (it's a really stiff dough). G.G. called these Molasses Gingerbread Cookies, but I find that name misleading -- it suggests soft, round cookies with fractured and fissured tops. These are not that. The dough is pressed out of a cookie press into several long lines on the cookie sheet, and then cut into bite-sized pieces after the cookies are baked. Once cooled, they are very thin and crispy -- to me, that makes them ginger snaps.
A couple of notes: These cookies call for a cookie press, ideally a well-made metal one -- if using a less well-made plastic press, be sure to hold the top and the base together while pressing. Of course it's possible to make these without a cookie press too, just roll them out thinly and cut into strips (or use cookie cutters.)
The original recipe called for 1 full teaspoon of ground cloves. Over the years, my family has decided that we all like the cookies better with the cloves dialed back a notch. —Lindsay-Jean Hard
more cookies than can be consumed in one sitting
shortening or oleo
sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
Butter for greasing cookie sheets
In This Recipe
Heat oven to 375° F
Whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in a small bowl.
In another bowl, combine the shortening, sugar, molasses, and egg.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.
Put dough into a cookie press fitted with the wavy line plate (or one that looks like a row of diamonds next to each other), and press out the dough onto greased cookie sheets in long lines.
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar immediately upon removal from oven. Cut the lines into cookies 1 1/2" to 2" in length, and let them cool on the cookie sheets until they firm up enough to move to a cooling rack.