These cookies bring back such memories for me. Some people might call them gingersnaps, but we’re going to stick with ginger sparkles. Because they sparkle. And who doesn’t need a little sparkle in their life?

But I never really liked them as I was growing up.  Perhaps that is part of the memory. As my tastes have matured, I’ve grown to really enjoy these flavorful ginger cookies.

My mom has made them for years–every year, as long as I can remember.  My aunt could live on them. I think she’d be perfectly happy if they were her only gift every year–for every occasion.

I remember it was always my sister’s job in the kitchen to roll these out and coat them in sugar.

I’m not sure what I was doing, maybe eating? No! Well…okay…yes, but also I always made chocolate peanut butter cups (not fancy peanut butter filled ones, the peanut butter was mixed up with the chocolate) with all sorts of yummy things stirred in them. I was the little sis–her job was far more important. We didn’t want to give Aunt Mary oddly shaped ginger sparkles! Although–I’m not sure she would have minded.

Looks like E and I will be starting a new tradition of her trying to throw my bowl of sugar on the carpet while I attempt to photograph it. I can’t wait until she is old enough to make Christmas cookies (and everything else) with me. I hope she loves to cook and bake as much as I do.

Another reason I enjoy making these cookies is because it reminds me of our honeymoon in Jamaica. Not because we ate them there, but because of the molasses. Did you know molasses comes from sugarcane? While we were in Jamaica we visited a rum distillery and tasted sugarcane in all of its many forms, including molasses. It was so interesting to learn not only how rum was made but also about molasses.

Ginger Sparkles

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups shortening
1 cup white granulated sugar + extra for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix dry ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, cream shortening and sugar together. Beat in eggs and molasses.
3. Sift in dry ingredients.
4. Form into small balls. (My mom’s notes say “marble-sized,” but make sure you’re thinking of the big marbles, unless you want bite-sized ginger sparkles. Which would be fun too!
5. Roll balls in sugar and place ~2″ apart on cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 10 minutes.

Note: If you like crisper cookies, bake for one or two minutes longer and/or roll them smaller. I like them a little chewy, while my mom prefers them crispy.

Verdict: Honestly, these are winners. Look at them! I didn’t even use a cookie scoop and they still look beautiful (in my own very humble opinion).
Husband’s take: I’ll get back to you on that one.
Changes I would make: Nada.
Difficulty: Easy. You don’t even have to soften butter.

Do you have any cookie making memories? What is your favorite Christmas cookie to make? Which one is your favorite to eat?