Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

I know... these may not look chewy, but they are. I promise. If they weren't, I wouldn't put them up here. Cookies are meant to be served the way salmon or a steak should be prepared, a nice sear on the outside, but raw in the middle. I just don't mess around with cookies. If there's too much crunch, I can't eat them. But what's so great about these is how the rim is crispy, making for the most wonderful sound as you bite into them. Then, you get to the good stuff. The blend of sugar and spice; the festive flavors of ginger, cinnamon and clove. It brings to mind lazy weekends... curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a book: the lead in for an afternoon nap.  I've been making these ginger molasses cookies for years, altering the recipe slightly as I prepare each batch.  I hate to use the P-word, but I can't help it... these are kind of perfect.

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

(Note: This recipe will make 3 dozen smaller cookies, if the dough is rolled into 1 inch round balls, as directed below.  However, I also like them a bit larger. In which case, you will get fewer cookies, but they will be bigger (not that size matters or anything))
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar 1/4 cup dark molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 4 ounces crystallized ginger, chopped coarsely
Granulated sugar, for rolling dough balls

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, vegetable shortening, sugar, molasses and egg.3. In a separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.  Add to wet mixture and beat until combined.  Stir in crystallized ginger.

4. Depending on the size you would like your cookies, form into 1 or 1.25 inch balls.  Roll dough balls in granulated sugar.

5. Place dough balls onto a non-stick cookie sheet (or a sheet lined with parchment paper) two inches apart.  Using a spatula, gently press down the tops of each cookie dough ball.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until outer rim is golden brown.

7. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.