Adapted from Bon Appétit, March 2000.
Arrange these soft, spicy cookies on a platter with apples and Vermont cheddar cheese. Serve with hot mulled cider or buttered rum.
2 cups all purpose flour
2½ teaspoons Ground Ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon Ground Saigon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup chopped Crystallized Ginger (can substitute toffee chips)
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
½ cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
¼ cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
Several tablespoons granulated sugar
Combine first six ingredients in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger/toffee chips. Using an electric mixer, beat brown sugar, shortening and butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until blended. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour (I chilled them overnight to make the dough easier to work with).
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets (not necessary if you have nonstick). Spoon granulated sugar in thick layer on a small plate. Form dough into 1 balls and roll in sugar to coat completely. Place balls on cookies sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until cracked on top but still soft to touch, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets 1 minute. Transfer to cooling rack.
Can be made several days ahead. Store in airtight container.