These spicy, old-fashioned cookies are a chewy favorite for the holidays. Make them ahead of time to get a head-start on your cookie-baking. To freeze these ahead, put the sugared dough balls on a tray in the freezer until they’re rock-hard and then stash them in zip-top bags. When it’s time to bake, arrange them on cookie sheets and let them thaw while the oven heats up. Yields about 3 dozen cookies. Note: The flour amount is given by weight and by volume; use either measurement.
2-1/4 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. table salt
8 tablespoons (4 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar, plus 2/3 cup for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
Heat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
In another large bowl, beat the butter, shortening, and 1 cup of the sugar with a mixer or a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the egg and molasses to the butter mixture; beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended, scraping down the bowl often (if you’re using an electric mixer, set it on low speed).
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the remaining sugar. Put the balls 2 inches apart (they need room to spread) on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges and puffed, about 13 min. Let the cookies sit for 5 min. and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.