Ginger's Breadboys bases its recipe on a recipe that dates from the 1950s and more than likely well before. The recipe has no attribution probably because it has been handed down from one generation to the next and no one really knows who came up with it. But it specifically calls for shortening and Crisco was the most popular brand of that era. We love how Ginger's Breadboys cookies bake and taste using Crisco. And all Crisco shortening products now have 0g trans fat per serving.
While we understand that some of you may prefer butter to shortening, a Crisco gingerbread cookie will be higher and lighter than a butter cookie which will be flatter and crispier. However, if you are conscious not to roll out your gingerbread dough too thinly, this shouldn't be a problem when baking with butter.
When substituting butter for shortening when baking, it is important to remember that butter is only 80% solid. With the additional liquid, we need to adjust the recipe when using butter. See our blog post for more information on baking with butter or shortening.)
We test baked a batch of gingerbread cookies with butter this summer (2019) and they turned out awesome. The dough was fabulous as well. It felt a bit like fudge after resting in the refrigerator overnight and was a bit tackier than that with shortening. But we used waxed paper with a slight dusting of flour to roll it out with no problems. While they appeared to bake up quickly, we needed the full 9 minutes to fully bake. And as with the original recipe, we made 39 cookies.
Use a cup of salted butter (2 sticks) and adjust the liquid in the recipe (remember butter is 20% liquid). Use only 3/4 cup of molasses instead of a cup and 5 teaspoons of vinegar instead of 2 tablespoons. We used a large/jumbo egg too. (Not sure that makes a huge difference but sharing nonetheless.)
Be sure to visit our page with the slideshow videos for how to bake the Ginger's Breadboys gingerbread cookie and download the recipe and instruction card that comes with the cookie kit if you're missing yours.
Need more gingerbread cookie mix? Our Make Another Batch gingerbread cookie baking kit is available to replace all the items used with the original kit.