Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Sift the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir the mixture to blend evenly.
Cream together the shortening and sugar. Add molasses and egg, beat until well incorporated. Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture into the shortening mixture; stir to thoroughly blend. Sift in the remaining flour mixture, and mix together until a soft dough forms.scoop small balls of dough (approx 1T), roll each ball in vanilla sugar, and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until the tops are flattened and slightly cracked, about 10-12 minutes (cookies should be dark brown). Cool cookies completely on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container.
Vanilla Sugar: Into 1/3 cup granluated sugar, scrape the caviar of one vanilla bean. Mix with a fork and leave to dry for 20 minutes. You can also put 1-2 vanilla beans into a small canister of sugar and let combine for at least two days. Then keep "feeding" this canister your used vanilla beans. Delicious!