Five Days of Festive Treats - Day 3: Soft, Sparkly Ginger Cookies!

Today, the baking marathon continues, as I share with you the recipes for the festive treats I’ll be passing along to family and friends this year. And, unlike the last two treats I sent your way, today’s recipe – a glittering ginger cookie that stays delightfully soft for days – is new to the blog, though it’s been in my repertoire for ages. Growing up in a home well stocked with giant tubs of margarine, but never any butter or shortening (can you tell I spent the majority of my childhood in the 90s?), this recipe, like the biscotti, was one of the few that I could make on a whim. And, for a kid, there’s nothing quite like squashing your hands around in dough, coloured gold by sticky black molasses, before rolling rounds of the stuff in sparkling sugar and watching your mess transform before your eyes into something sweet, spicy and delicious. So I made these guys time and again, much to the delight of my parents, who were always happy to pick me up another bag of whatever was needed to indulge my cookie-making habit.


Now that I’m living away from home, I don’t keep margarine around, so these cookies are sadly out of my baking rotation. But with my parents coming to town for the holidays, I thought it was time to bust them out again. And guys, it was pure nostalgia with the first, pillowy bite: these are the cookies of my childhood. As I did when I was a sensible kid, I’ve made them much smaller than instructed so that they disappear less quickly, making for cookies that are crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle. But if you’re willing to risk it, bump the size up a bit from what I’ve instructed to make for an even softer centre. 


Soft, Sparkly Ginger Cookies
Adapted from
Makes lots – 36+ when you make them small

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp table salt
1 cup white sugar
¾ cup soft margarine
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp white sugar, popped into a small bowl


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat together sugar and margarine until soft and fluffy. Add egg and mix until combined. Add in molasses and water and mix again until combined. 

3. Add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture and stir gently until flour is totally incorporated. 

4. Form dough into 1-inch wide balls (your hands, a spoon or a small ice cream scoop all work well here) and roll them in the small bowl of sugar to coat. Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet, roughly 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until their edges are golden, cooling them for five minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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