Makes 42 cookies
cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
ground black pepper
vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free)
packed light brown sugar
pure vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the shortening and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in the egg, molasses, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined (do not overmix).
- Place the granulated sugar on a plate. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls; roll in the sugar to coat. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Using a glass, press the balls to a ⅜-inch thickness and sprinkle with more granulated sugar.
- Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the edges are firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.