Bake Day: Chewy Ginger Cookies

Mmmmmmm, soft ginger-packed cookies are my absolute favourite. Normally I save making them for christmas but the weather here has been so dreary of late that I think I may have to make them again very soon. These cookies take more work than the ordinary chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie, but the sweet spiciness of them is sure to warm and comfort you. They are a labour of love, and they are SO worth the effort.


  • 2¼  cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 2½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped 
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
  • ¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, room temp
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of raw or sanding sugar

  1. Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven, then preheat to 350F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or use a silpat if you have one).
  3. Chop up the crystallized ginger into fine pieces and put aside.
  4. Peel the fresh ginger (I use this method), then finely grate it and put aside.
  5. To a medium bowl add flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, salt, and pepper. Give these ingredients a good whisking and then put aside.
  6. To a large bowl, add butter, shortening and brown sugar. Beat on medium/high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minuets). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again for a moment.
  7. Add the grated ginger, vanilla, egg, and molasses to the large bowl. Beat on low speed until just combined. I switch from electric mixer to wooden spoon at this point, but it's optional.
  8. Add the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until just combined. 
  9. Finally, add the crystallized ginger and stir through. The dough should be soft and sticky.
  10. Put the raw/sanding sugar in a bowl, and prepare to get your hands a bit dirty!
  11. With a regular teaspoon, scoop dough by the heaping spoonful and drop into the sugar bowl. Turn to fully coat each blob, then gently roll each one into a nice ball.
  12. Place balls on cookie sheets, 2-3cm apart, fitting 12 to a sheet.
  13. Put in both sheets, one on the top rack, one on the bottom rack, and bake for 12 minutes.
    Make sure you rotate the cookie sheets halfway through baking!!
  14. Cookies are done when the edges are firm and the centres appear cracked. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Let the sheets cool a bit before putting new cookies on them.
  15. Repeat steps 11-14 until dough is used up. Feel free to have a sample or two while you bake the rest. If you run out of raw/sanding sugar, don't despair -- use plain white sugar, or leave them naked!

These cookies freeze very well, so they are a great option to make ahead of a special occasion or event. I hope you love them as much as I do! Happy baking.