Recipe by PJ Hamel

These crunchy, spicy rounds with their cracked, sugary tops are equally at home dunked in tea, coffee, or milk, and frequently enjoyed during the November/December holiday season. But they're just as welcome on a mellow, golden, late-September afternoon, with a comfortable lounge chair and a large glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade.

12 mins
11 to 13 mins
23 mins
about 5 dozen cookies


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

  2. Beat together the shortening, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

  3. Beat in the egg, then the molasses.

  4. Add the flour and spices, beating to make a smooth, fairly stiff dough.

  5. To make the coating, combine the sugar and cinnamon, and place in a shallow pan or dish.

  6. Drop the dough in 1" balls into the cinnamon-sugar mixture; a teaspoon cookie scoop is perfect here.

  7. Roll the balls in the sugar to coat, then transfer them to the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1 1/2" between them; they'll spread as they bake.

  8. Bake the cookies for 11 minutes, for cookies that are crisp around the edges, and "bendy" in the center. Bake for 13 minutes, for cookies that are crisp/crunchy all the way through.

  9. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool right on the pan, or on a rack. Cool completely, then store tightly wrapped, at room temperature.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Looking to cut back on the sugar in your baking? See our blog post, How to reduce sugar in cookies and bars.

  • Skip the scooping and cut down on prep time by using an ingenious technique outlined in our blog post, A simple way to shape cookies.