This is my mother's recipe, simple and economical. Not really a snappy cookie but chewy, spicy and delectable. I'm a butter girl, but my mom sometimes substituted vegetable shortening. No one ever complained.
1 1/4 cups butter, softened, OR vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets (I use nonstick cooking spray).
Combine flour, soda and spices; set aside. Cream butter (or shortening) and sugar until fluffy; add egg and molasses to combine. Add dry ingredients to wet. Mix until fully incorporated.
Using your fingers or a small (say, 1-inch) scoop, form dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will flatten and crinkle as they bake, and fill your house with the scent of holiday spices. Remove from sheets to cool on wire racks.