These soft and chewy old-fashioned ginger snap cookies use shortening instead of butter and include molasses and brown sugar. Ginger, cinnamon, and ground cloves give these cookies full flavor and spice! You’re going to want to add these cookies to your Christmas baking list!
These chewy molasses ginger snap cookies are so addicting! The combination of the warm spices along with the sweetness of brown and granulated sugar just makes these cookies perfect for the holiday season!
This recipe is a variation of my great-grandma’s old church cookbook. It’s not fancy–just super straightforward, just how I like it. Nothing too complicated needed here!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- One Bowl – I know it’s common to add the dry ingredients to the wet, and you can certainly do that if you wish, but if you follow the steps as written, all the ingredients can be added to the same bowl. Just make sure to use a spatula to scrape all the ingredients as you’re mixing! This ensures the cookies bake evenly!
- A Lovely Holiday Cookie – Ginger snap cookies are a classic Christmas cookie! They are packed with flavor and they’re truly a must bake every year for me!
- Soft and Chewy – These cookies are soft and chewy thanks to the brown sugar, molasses, and shortening. No butter in these ginger snap cookies!
- Shortening – I used Crisco vegetable shortening.
- Brown Sugar – Light or dark brown sugar works for these cookies! I used light.
- Molasses – I recommend using mild flavored molasses in these cookies.
- Egg – Helps hold the cookie together as it bakes.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves – You’ll use equal parts of these spices. They pack a ton of flavor, and are the essence of these ginger snap cookies!
- Baking Soda
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1: With a hand mixer, cream together the shortening and brown sugar for about two minutes.
Step 2: Mix in the egg and molasses. Then, add the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
Step 3: Gradually add the flour in as you mix. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to incorporate all the ingredients.
Step 4: Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 2-tablespoon-sized balls.
Step 5: Roll the dough balls into a bowl of granulated sugar.
Step 6: Move the baking sheet to the fridge and chill the dough for 20-30 minutes. Bake the cookies for 11 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further.
- Mixing Bowl
- Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheet
- Cookie Scoop
Store these cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze these baked cookies for up to 3 months. Store them in an airtight container or Ziplock bag.
To freeze the dough, allow the dough balls to chill in the fridge before transferring to a Ziploc bag and freezing for up to 2 months. Bake the frozen dough balls at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add an extra minute or two to the bake time.
- You must chill the dough beforehand! This is important because it prevents the cookies from cooking thin, crispy, and spreading into each other. Chilling them keeps them perfectly round, chewy, and soft!
- You’re looking for mild flavored, unsulphured molasses–NOT blackstrap molasses.
- These cookies are soft. If you’re looking for hard ginger snap cookies, you can substitute 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar instead of the full cup of brown sugar. Brown sugar makes these cookies chewy. Granulated sugar will make them crispier.
Make sure you chill the dough before baking them. This will ensure they are chewy. You also need to avoid overbaking them. Every oven is different, but these cookies should bake for about 11 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll know they’re ready to come out of the oven when the outside edges are starting to get crisp, but the middle is still soft.
Mild flavored unsulphured molasses. Do not use blackstrap molasses for these cookies.
Nope! They just add to the flavor, but totally not necessary.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Old-Fashioned Ginger Snap Cookies
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup brown sugar light or dark, firmly packed
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses mild flavor
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar to dip the cookie dough in
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a hand mixer, cream together the shortening and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl for about two minutes.
- Add the egg while mixing. Then, add the molasses. Add the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Gradually add the flour, making sure to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula so all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Use your hands or a cookie scoop to measure out 1-tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls. Roll the balls in a bowl of granulated sugar, and set on a baking sheet. Once all the dough balls are rolled in sugar, chill them in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Once the cookie dough has chilled, bake the cookies on a parchment-covered baking sheet, making sure to space the cookies 2 inches apart. Bake for 11 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the middle is still a bit soft. They will bake more on the baking sheet.
- Transfer them to a wire rack and allow them to cool before eating. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.