Crackly Orange and Ginger Cookies

Preparation info

  • Makes about


    6 inch monster cookies cookies
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mrs. Witty's Monster Cookies

Mrs. Witty's Monster Cookies

By Helen Witty

Published 1983

  • About

An old-fashioned bite, substantial to the tooth, fragrant and soul-warming. This recipe is a direct descendant of one used for a long lifetime by my Great-Aunt Minnie, whether she found herself living in exotic California or back home in Warren County, New Jersey. The orange rind in the cookies and in the coating sugar is my own Californian touch, as is the nut-coated of the recipe.


  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup (packed) light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsulphured light molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange rind (colored outer layer only, no pith)
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, with an oven rack in the center position.
  2. In a mixing bowl (using a wooden spoon) or in the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the shortening until it is soft. Then add the sugar, beating until the mixture is fluffy. Beat in the molasses, then the egg, beating well after each addition, and finally add the 2 tablespoons of orange rind.
  3. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir this mixture thoroughly into the creamed mixture.
  4. Make the orange sugar for coating: In a bowl, combine thoroughly the 1 tablespoon of orange rind and the granulated sugar.

Form and Bake the Cookies

  1. For 6-inch monsters: Measure the dough for each cookie in a -cup measure, leveling the top. Shape the dough into a ball and roll it in the orange sugar, coating it well. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet at least 3 inches apart, to allow space for spreading during baking. There should be 3 cookies per sheet.
  2. For 3-inch cookies: For each cookie, scoop up a heaping measuring tablespoonful of the dough. Form it into a ball and drop it into a bowl containing the orange sugar, then turn it to coat it well. Place the coated ball on an ungreased baking sheet. Shape the remaining dough in the same manner, spacing the cookies 3 inches apart.
  3. Bake the cookies in the center of the preheated oven for 12 minutes (for small cookies) to 15 minutes (for the larger size), or until the edges are firm and the centers have puffed and subsided (this forms the crackles). Cool the cookies on the baking sheet until they are firm, at least 5 minutes, then move them to wire racks to cool completely. These cookies, stored in a covered but not airtight container, keep perfectly for weeks at room temperature. They may also be frozen for longer storage.