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Grandma Johnson's Ginger Cookies


Grandmother Johnson's Ginger Cookies

Swedish Ginger Cookies, handed down through four generations

photo ©Kari Schoening Diehl, licensed on 2/28/2012 to About.com
Growing up, one of my favorite after-school snacks was my Grandmother Johnson's Swedish ginger cookies. Although larger than the famous "Anna's" brand of ginger cookies distributed out of Sweden, this homemade variety is almost equally as thin and crispy. Pair it with a glass of milk or old-fashioned egg coffee for a relaxing afternoon "fika" break.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes

Yield: Makes 40 cookies


  • 3/4 cup shortening (vegetable shortening is fine)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 Tbsp. Swedish light syrup (or substitute light molasses)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. hornsalt (or substitute baking soda)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup sugar (for rolling cookies)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Cream together the shortening and sugar, then beat in the egg and light syrup (or molasses).

Sift together the all-purpose flour, hornsalt (or baking soda), cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir these dry ingredients into the batter, until all are incorporated into a soft dough.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of cookie dough, roll them between your hands into small balls, then roll them in the sugar before placing them on a cookie sheet. Leave at least 1 inch between the cookies; they will spread. Use a fork to push the cookies down slightly, pressing the prongs of the fork to form a cross-hatch pattern.

Bake in oven just until golden (about 8 minutes, but check at the 5-minute point to prevent burning, since oven temperatures can vary). Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

Per Serving: Calories 187, Calories from Fat 73, Total Fat 8.1g 12%, Saturated Fat 2.4g 12%, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 9mg 3%, Sodium 131mg 5%, Total Carbohydrates 27.8g 9%, Sugars 17.3g, Protein 1.6g, Vitamin A 0% , Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 1%, Iron 5%

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