"Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside! They are heavy on the ginger and molasses. These are the best ginger cookies I've ever had. They'll be hard as a rock if you overbake, though. So watch them carefully. Oh, and you'll definitely need some milk when you eat them...."
Cream shortening. Slowly add only 1 cup of sugar and beat until crumbly. Turn off mixer and add egg and molasses at the same time. Beat for at least 3 minutes until the mixture lightens in color significantly.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk until well combined. Gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Dough will be very thick.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in remaining sugar. (If dough is too sticky, put in refrigerator for 20-40 minutes. Do not add more flour.) Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Bake until the cookies are well cracked, but not dark. Overbaking will cause them to be very hard.
Cool on pan for 3-5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
Don't double recipe. It will challenge even a hefty stand mixer.