Once a year, near the end of November, Americans stop and take stock and just practice a little….thanksgiving. It started with the pilgrims and Native Americans and through a few warps and bends now means turkey handprints, cinnamon spices and pumpkin pie. Whatever the origins I think it is important to just stop for a minute, have dinner with family, look around and be thankful for what we have (and sometimes what we don’t). I’ll go first: I have three healthy children and a loving husband. I do something that I love (cooking, writing, and sharing with you) and I have fantastic friends – not too many, not too few – scattered around the world. We live in a beautiful home in an interesting city and we spend a ton of time across the Atlantic visiting another beautiful home in another interesting city. I have two incredible sisters, a fascinating father with loads of life experience and the most loving in-laws you can imagine.
Even with a healthy appreciation for the wonder that life is, I am often blown away with gratitude toward people who reach out and do extremely thoughtful things for me. Friends who are amazing cooks and who show up delivering tasty morsels to my door. Friends who are stunning designers helping us make design choices and pick house colors in the midst of a stressful renovation. Friends who help us throw amazing parties. Friends who buy me great shoes on sale when they are in Chicago for work. Friends who take me places like, um, backstage at Ray LaMontagne.
And with Thanksgiving peeking around the corner and stores bursting with displays of cinnamon and molasses and sugar and flour and pecans and pumpkin puree and goodies I find myself once again, thankful. I am thankful that I have an excuse to make huge batches of cookies to deliver to friends. Thus satisfying my desire to bake….and to make them all super fat.
And if THAT isn’t what the Pilgrims and Native Americans were all about, then I don’t know what is.
These cookies have been affectionately (or maybe sarcastically) nicknamed Crisco Crack Cookies by this skinny lady and I can’t even argue. So stock up on all those spicy tasty goodies in a pile in your grocery store and bake, bake, bake until your heart and your tummy explodes. Totally worth it.
- 3/4 cup Crisco (or other vegetable shortening)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup sugar for coating cookies
- Whisk or sift together flour, spices and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream shortening for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of sugar and beat for another minute. Add egg and molasses, scrape sides down with a rubber spatula and blend for another minute.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in three stages blending well after each addition. Scrape sides down and cover with cling film. Refrigerate for 1 to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Add 1/3 cup of granulated sugar to a large metal bowl. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop drop three scoops at a time of cookie dough into the bowl and shake it around to get the three scoops of cookie dough coated all over. Remove and place in rows on baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.