This is my favorite thing to make in the fall. They are the perfect cookie. I’ve been making these for years (the recipe is from a magazine from 1998) and I’ve always been happy with them. I can’t recall when I first started using the orange sanding sugar, but it makes a big difference. I ran out of the orange sugar one time when I was making them and they just looked so blah, so boring! While the orange sanding sugar is expensive, it gives the cookies their festive look.
So I had been baking these all along and had been happy with the recipe. My husband and I often shop at Trader Joe’s and we picked up some of their miniature triple ginger cookies. They’re very good, but my husband said that my ginger cookies were better. He suggested that I alter my recipe and make it a triple ginger cookie. So I took the recipe and added candied ginger and gingerroot. It was a success. I took them to work and my coworker said that they were better than the ones from Trader Joe’s. What a compliment!
This recipe makes a lot of cookies (6 dozen or so) but you could either half the recipe or make really big cookies. The original recipe called for 3 tablespoons of dough for each cookie, with the recipe making only 25 cookies. I think that’s too big for a cookie, others would disagree. Also, for this recipe you MUST use shortening or they won’t be soft and chewy. I’m usually a butter girl all the way, this is one of the few places where I don’t even think of making a substitution.
4-1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
½ cup molasses
¼ cup candied ginger, finely diced
1 teaspoon gingerroot, grated on a microplane
¾ cup orange sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
In the bowl of a mixer, mix the shortening until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs and the molasses, mixing until combined.
Stir in about half of the flour mixture and then mix in the candied ginger and the gingerroot. Add the rest of the flour mixture. You will probably need to mix in the last bit of flour by hand, as the dough is too much for most mixers (even my Kitchenaid!).
From the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in the orange sanding sugar. Bake for 11-12 minutes. Cookies will be puffy and perhaps look slightly undone. Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Adapted from Sunset Magazine’s Giant Ginger Cookies (November 1998)