Every Christmas deserves a taste of gingerbread, right? I love making gingerbread houses with the family. But in all honesty….I’m not a huge fan of gingerbread boys. They’re often too crunchy and there’s rarely enough frosting on top to compensate for the bland cookie.
Gingerbread Softies on the other hand are divine! They have tons of flavor, they’re crispy on the outside, dusted with sugar, and soft and chewy in the middle. They make the season bright for kids big,
(that pretty model above is my younger sister Meredith. Wish I could say it was me). Okay, let’s get baking!
These cookies flatten and crack as they cool. The secret in keeping them soft is to remove them from the oven as soon as they are set but before they start to brown.
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup shortening*
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
l/2 tsp. cloves
l/2 tsp. salt
Cream together the sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat until thick. Add the molasses and stir until combined.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Add to creamed mixture and stir just until blended. If the dough is very soft (hot day? warm kitchen?), wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Shape into 1” balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350º for 7 – 10 minutes or just until set but before they start to brown.
* This is a very old recipe and, like many cookie recipes from the 1950s, and uses vegetable shortening instead of butter. You can substitute 1 1/2 cups melted and cooled butter for the shortening but you will have to increase the flour to 4 1/2 cups and definitely chill the dough before using.
Check out the Sweets and Treats archive page HERE.