- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- ¾ cup shortening
- 2¼ cup flour (add more if dough is too sticky to roll)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda, dissolved in a little hot water
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Additional sugar, for coating the cookies (about 1 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the sugar, molasses, and shortening until smooth in a large bowl. Whisk in the egg and dissolved baking soda.
- Combine the flour, spices, and salt in another bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until well combined. The dough should be shiny and easily hold together when pinched between your fingers. If the dough is too soft to hold together, refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
- Place the additional sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter and roll to coat in sugar.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes. The cookies should look puffy and undercooked when removed from oven. As they cool, they will harden and crack slightly. Do not overbake these! They stay soft and chewy because of the shorter baking time.
- This is an old-fashioned recipe. The shortening is key. Butter will not work as a substitute in this recipe – believe me, I’ve tried!
- We always mixed this by hand with a whisk/spatula, and that is what works. If you try this using a hand-held or stand mixer, please let me know how it turns out.