These took a long time to make. With Audrey needing frequent attention and the other kids "helping" in various ways, this little holiday project spanned two days. But I really wanted the experience of making cookies with the kids and getting into the holiday spirit, and they turned out delicious, so I didn't mind all the little delays and mishaps (like when Thomas dumped all the dipping sugar into the cookie dough). :-)
Molasses Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups shortening (I substituted part margarine, since I ran out of shortening)
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool. Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well.
In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight (at this point life with three kids attacked full force, and the dough had to wait overnight and much of the next day before moving on to the next step).
Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar (or, in Thomas' case, eat the balls of dough before they get a chance to be rolled in sugar). Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!