The Great Cookie Experiment – Ginger Sugar Cookies

I know updates have been slow.  Please to forgive me, it’s been a crazy kind of week.  I have these grand ideas that I’ll get like a month ahead on posts and then life strikes!  Silly life!  I should be more on top of things now.  🙂

For those in Utah, please remember that the second weekend of the Dicken’s Christmas Festival starts tomorrow and runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10-10 at the State Fair Grounds.  Come and save me from my boredom and taste my mother’s family famous English Toffee!

Now…on to today’s great cookie experiment:


The Great Cookie Experiment-Ginger Sugar Cookies/ Cookie Jar Gingersnaps



Last week I said that I didn’t really make cookies at Christmas.  That’s not entirely true.  There is ONE cookie I make at Christmas.  It’s the cookie that I think reminds me most of Christmas.  I make it every year.  Sometimes I include it with my chocolates as neighbor gifts.  Sometimes I wait, and make them the week before Christmas just to share with family.  Either way, my Ginger Sugar Cookies are wonderful.  They are soft and chewy and pretty and have the perfect spicy richness that I come to expect out of any kind of a gingerbread or gingersnap type cookie.



A few years ago, I was at a cookie exchange.  Everyone was supposed to bring a batch of cookies and the recipe to share with everyone else.  I brought my Ginger Sugar Cookies.  My friend Ann also brought some kind of spice cookie.  Hers were called Cookie Jar Gingersnap cookies.  They didn’t look anything like mine.  Mine are sliced from a log and are flat and rolled in sparkly sugar.  Hers were puffy and cracked on top.  I have to admit, I felt a little superior about my recipe.  Hers couldn’t possibly be as good as mine.



I said, “Oh, Ann, you have to try my cookies.  My family loves them because they are so soft and chewy.”



Ann smiled and said, “Mine too.”



I said, “Oh, and mine have just the right kind of mixture of spices and molasses.  They come out so rich and tasty.”



Ann said, “Mine too.”



I said, “Mine are…”



“Julie, just try a cookie.”  Ann said, handing me one.



I took a bite of her puffier cookie, and I was surprised.  Really surprised.  Her cookie tasted just like mine!  Our cookies didn’t look the same at all, but they tasted the same.  I got her recipe, and we compared the two.  It had exactly the same ingredients, with the exception of a half a teaspoon of cloves.  The same ingredients in the same measurements!  The only difference was in the method of preparing the cookies.  That explained the difference of appearance!



This year, just for you, I made Ann’s cookies.  I’ve never made them before, even though in a way, I make them every year.  I suppose it’s not really an experiment when you already know the outcome, because Ann and I have the BEST Ginger Sugar Cookie Jar gingersnap cookie recipe around.   It’s my favorite Christmas cookie- the only one I’ve kept after switching to candy making for the holidays.  I’m proud to share BOTH recipes with you today!

Cookie Jar Gingersnaps



Ginger Sugar Cookies

Ginger Sugar Cookie/ Cookie Jar Gingersnap Cookie



¾ cup shortening


1 cup sugar


1 egg


2 tsp baking soda


¼ cup molasses


2 cups flour


½ tsp cloves (optional)


1 tsp cinnamon


½ tsp ginger


½ tsp salt



Ann’s preparation method:



Cream together shortening and sugar.  Beat in egg and molasses.  Combine flour, baking soda, spices and salt and add to the creamed mixture.  Roll dough into small walnut sized balls.  Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 for 12-15 minutes until tops are cracked.  Makes 3-4 dozen



My preparation method:



Melt shortening in a medium sized saucepan.  Allow to cool for 3 minutes.  Add sugar and egg.  Beat by hand until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well, pour onto a large piece of foil.  Form into a log about 10-12 inches long.  Wrap in the foil and chill for at least 2 hours.  Slice in ¼ inch thick slices.  Coat both sides with white sugar.  Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Makes about 3 dozen.




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