I love a good spicy cookie. But too often the spiced cookies are relegated to the holidays. As far as I am concerned, however, they are equally good on any day of the year. These ginger cookies are hands down the best I have ever had. No lie. Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, the layers of spices in these cookies hit you in waves, none overpowering the others, with a distinct, almost smoky hit of molasses, and then it finishes off with the heat from the chunks of crystallized ginger. I am telling you, (to borrow a phrase from Paula Deen) they will make you sass yo’ mama! I love how they look, with that perfect, rustic crackled top, and the slight sparkle from their roll in granulated sugar before baking. These cookies are great with tea or cocoa, or, for an especially decadent summertime treat, sandwich two of these cookies together with vanilla, cinnamon, peach, or chai flavored ice cream. I mean, who wouldn’t love that? I use Ina Garten’s ultimate ginger cookie recipe with a few minor adjustments. I up the spices (adding an additional teaspoon of ground cinnamon and ground ginger, and an extra half teaspoon of both the cloves and nutmeg), I also add a healthy splash of vanilla extract in with the wet mixture, and I cut the baking time to 11 minutes (for 1.5 oz balls of dough). And as these cookies bake, the house fills with their intoxicating spicy aroma, which makes any day feel like a holiday. Enjoy!