By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: Sept. 22, 2017 | 12:00 p.m.
What could possibly be better than a batch of warm, spicy fall cookies? How about a batch of giant fall cookies? These are Giant Ginger Cookies one of my absolute favorites, and besides being easy to make, the spicy-sweet crunchiness appeals to “kids” of all ages! Just don’t be surprised if you hear the “Big Kids” say, “These taste like my Grandma’s!” because they are very similar to old-fashioned molasses cookies! (And your house will smell heavenly!)
There’s a very satisfying crunch to these cookies that makes it hard to eat just one – which is one of the reasons I started making them BIG. My sister – who gave me the original recipe – prefers a soft inside, and if that appeals to you, just make smaller balls and reduce the cooking time by maybe a minute. In either case, they will be soft when you take them out of the oven, and even crash if you touch them before they’ve had that minute to set up before turning them out on your cooling rack. Just watch carefully toward the end of the baking time, because it’s easy to scorch the bottoms.
I’m not a huge fan of allspice so I usually cut way back on that. For a double batch of cookies (which I always make!) I use about 1 ½ teaspoons of the allspice, and I sometimes reduce the nutmeg a bit as well. But I always use the full amount of ginger as they really are a lot like ginger snaps if you cook them the full time. Rolling the dough balls in granulated sugar just before cooking is optional, but I highly recommend it. Besides giving the cookies a nice, added crunch, it makes them sparkly!
My sister taught me a couple of important tricks that make a great deal of difference in how these turn out. First, only bake one cookie sheet full at a time. For “regular” size cookies, they only take about nine minutes, but for the HUGE cookies l like to make, the cookie sheet will only hold six at a time. For the crinkly-cracky crust, you’ll want to bake them on your higher oven rack and make sure to completely cool and wipe down your cookie sheet between each baking. I don’t know why, but my sister is The Cookie Queen, and it does make a difference.
As a bonus, these freeze beautifully, which makes them perfect for sharing with unexpected company. And take my word for it – whether you pop them in the microwave for a few seconds for that “just baked” smell or eat them right out of the freezer for the extra crunch, they are absolutely delicious! With a bit of ribbon or a little basket they also make a great hostess gift or homemade treat for the upcoming holidays.
These Giant Spice Cookies are especially good with a nice cup of coffee or a glass of ice-cold milk. And I can almost guarantee that when you serve them, you’ll be rewarded with oooohs, and ahhhhs. Your house definitely will smell heavenly, and you might just start a whole new autumn family tradition. Happy Fall, Y’all!
Queenie’s Giant Ginger Cookies
YIELD about a dozen (or 42 regular cookies)
- 3⁄4 cup shortening
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup white sugar for coating raw dough balls
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 cup molasses
- 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger *
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
- 1 teaspoon allspice*
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg*
Cream together shortening and brown sugar. Stir in egg and molasses and mix well.
Fold in dry ingredients and stir. Cover and chill until firm (1-2 hours).
Preheat oven to 350°. Roll dough into large balls – about halfway between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball – and roll balls in white sugar or cinnamon sugar. Immediately place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake – one tray at a time – at 350° for about 13 minutes, monitoring carefully at the end. Leave on sheet one minute to set before moving them to cooling rack.
NOTES: * May adjust spices to taste. Set oven rack to high. Refrigerate dough between pans, as the crackly crust does not develop well if dough is not cold.
Look for Queenie Cooks weekly for recipes that are generally simple to prepare, require relatively few (and easy to find) ingredients, and usually budget friendly as well. We all have to eat. Let’s have some FUN with it!