This recipe is an adaptation of an adaptation. Originally by Nelle Branson in the 1982 edition of the Trinity Episcopal Church Recipe Book, it appeared in the New York Times in 2005, and then joined the repertoire of Shake's inestimable roommate. The version below incorporates her changes to the original recipe. I doubt we could improve on it.
Swedish Ginger Cookies
1 1/2 sticks of butter (original calls for bacon fat, but... gross)
1 cup sugar, plus 14 cups for dusting the cookies
4 tablespoons dark molasses
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine all ingredients. Spin until dough forms.
3. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours at least. The roommate suggests at least freezing the dough overnight, but more than one night is actually good.
4. Form into (very small) balls, roll in sugar, space 2 inches apart.
5. Bake in the oven for about 6-7 minutes until dark brown. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes outside on your fire escape. But watch out for squirrels!