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Sparkly Chewy Ginger Cookies

The holidays are an excuse for sparkly everything: dresses, shoes, wrapping paper, and ... cookies! Well, duh. Here are a couple reasons these chewy ginger cookies are the ultimate festive choice.

1. They get their glimmer from both sanding sugar and crystallized ginger.

2. They have fresh and ground ginger in their batter.

So that's double sparkle, triple ginger, quadruple cred at that cookie swap you're going to this weekend. Don't forget your sparkly dress, too.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat free)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 large egg

1/2 cup blackstrap (robust) molasses

2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

1 cup raw or sanding sugar

Directions

1. Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar, shortening, and butter in a large bowl, scraping down sides halfway through beating, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add egg, molasses, grated ginger, and vanilla; beat just to blend. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger (dough will be very soft and sticky).

2. Place raw sugar in a shallow bowl. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out dough. Using a second spoon, scoop dough from tablespoon measure into bowl with raw sugar; turn to coat well. Roll into ball. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with half of remaining dough and sugar, spacing balls 1 1/2" apart.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm and centers appear cracked, 10–12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool. Repeat with remaining dough and sugar, using cooled baking sheets and new parchment.

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