adapted from Dorie Greenspan, by way of smitten kitchen
Makes about four dozen cookies.
2 sticks unsalted vegetable shortening of margarine, at room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1. Beat the margarine or shortening at medium speed until smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in the egg yolk, followed by the salt. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, a 1/2 cup at a time, beating just until it disappears, until you’ve put in 1 3/4 cups.
2. Divide dough in half. Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to one half, along with the chocolate chips. To the other half, add 1/8 cup flour spices. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
3. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
4. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Using a sharp knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/3-1/2 inch thick. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch space between them. Dip each spice cookie in granulated sugar before placing on the cookie sheet.
6. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. Cool before serving.
Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for a month.