These crackled cookies are slightly crisp on the edges, soft in the center and absolutely chewy all the way through. You know, that kind of cookie that's perfectly bendable. If you're looking for a hard spice cookie you may prefer this recipe from my great-grandma on the other side of the family. And if you like super soft (but not chewy) cookies then you'll get along with two of my great-aunts, one known for her tiny Ginger Creams and the other for her large and thick molasses cookies. It's amazing how such similar ingredients can yield such different results.
Chewy Ginger Cookies
recipe from my Great-Grandma Hattie
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl cream together shortening and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture.
* Roll dough into 1-1/2-inch balls; coat in additional sugar. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Press balls down with tines of fork, forming a crisscross pattern. Bake 7-8 minutes or until cookies are just puffed and cracked. Edges will be set but centers will be soft and look undone. Let cool 2 minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.