If you've ever wondered why our pastry chef Melissa is so good, you need only dig into her family history to realize that she comes from a long line of talented bakers. This recipe from her great-grandmother Formanek dates from the WWI era, hence no butter. These freeze well.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
10 mins
5 mins
30 mins
60 cookies


Original recipe yields 60 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Beat 2 cups sugar, shortening, and molasses together in a bowl using an electric stand mixer until uniform, making sure not to overbeat. Add eggs and mix for 30 seconds.

  • Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt together in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix until just combined and dough is stiff.

  • Pour 2 tablespoons sugar in a shallow bowl. Form cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar, making sure not to flatten. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until cookies crackle on top for 'lace' design, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook's Notes:

Don't overbeat dough, as overbeating makes very flat cookies.

Don't overbake! They should not have dark edges.

Nutrition Facts

114 calories; protein 1.1g 2% DV; carbohydrates 15.6g 5% DV; fat 5.4g 8% DV; cholesterol 5.5mg 2% DV; sodium 125.9mg 5% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (6)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
these cookies are so good tastes just like my mom use to make quick and easy to make. Read More
7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
No changes. These were perfect! Sometimes I get I a holiday rut and it's the same menu year after year. So this year we started looking outside the box. We made these early and I couldn't find my grandma's recipe. We've already confirmed these are a definite for Christmas. Hurry up Santa! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Turned out really well. Didn t spread too much so kept a nice soft center. I added a little more ginger to increase the heat a little but the recommended amount should be perfect. The sugar on the outside didn t leave a strong visual sugar so a confectioners dusting might be in order if you like the color break. Quickest best ginger bake I have come across. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Delicious cookies would like a Little crispier maybe bake a little longer but if you like a soft cookies thus one is very good. Made a large batch so I m freezing them Read More
Rating: 5 stars
these cookies are so good tastes just like my mom use to make quick and easy to make. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Love the soft center and a bit crispy edges. I underbaked the first pan and it was too soft. Very good! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
DELISH!! So easy to make! Perfectly soft inside with a little crunch on the outside. Will definitely make them again! I may even add a little extra ginger as I'm a freak over the flavor! Read More