Posted especially for my Heritage family who enjoyed these cookies at church this morning!
I was never exposed to ginger (except the powdered stuff) as a child, and as a young grown-up I didn't try it because it sounded strange. A friend made a gingerbread cake many years ago, with fresh ginger in it. I raised my eyebrow but tried it because she also made some scrumptious lemon curd to go with it. Being a lover of all things lemon, I gave it a shot. From that first bite ginger became of wonderful friend of mine!
This is a great gingersnap recipe which I use as is, except that I load it with fresh grated ginger and chopped candied ginger, too, to make them over the top good! As I frequently do, if I go to the trouble to make something wonderful like this, I usually double it so that there is plenty to share. I think my friends appreciate that :-)
Grandma's Gingersnaps (from Betty Crocker)
1 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup molasses
1 2/3 cup sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. each salt, ground cloves, ground ginger
fresh grated ginger and chopped candied ginger, at least 3/4 - 1 1/2 cups of each, depending on your taste
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Melt short. and butter in small saucepan over low heat. Allow to cool 15 minutes.
2. Mix shortening, molasses, sugar and eggs in large bowl until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients except additional sugar.
(You can bake cookies now or refrigerate the dough for later)
3. Put additional sugar into small/med. bowl. Shape dough into 1 in. balls; roll in sugar. Place about 2 in. apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 - 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies.
For Extra special cookies: melt three 6 oz. packages of white chocolate/baking bar with 1 T. shortening. Dip half of cookie into chocolate and place on wax paper until chocolate is set.