These are the cookies that get requested each holiday season. Dark with molasses and loaded with spice, as a gingersnap should be, they warm and comfort. Delicious on their own, with hot chocolate, spiced cider, or dipped in milk. They can be soft and a bit chewy or crispy- it’s up to you.
The Gingersnap Cookies That Open Doors
The gingersnap cookies that get hoarded, saved, the gingersnap cookies that open doors. Literally. Several years ago a friend of ours had a brain tumor removed (benign!), he was in recovery behind closed and locked doors. We were told he didn’t want visitors.
“Tell him we brought the gingersnap cookies,” we insisted through the intercom.
The nurse seemed skeptical but agreed to check. A few minutes later.
“Well, I guess those must be the magic words,” she said and buzzed us in. He didn’t share, just snacked on a few cookies and then tucked the rest away for later. But he had just had brain surgery so no one complained.
This post is what was originally going to be a photo update for my Pomegranate Molasses Ginger Snaps but I realized that the post was sparse enough and the cookies delicious enough they, the original spicy gingersnaps made with regular molasses, deserve their own post. Since these gingersnaps normally don’t get baked until December there were several happy friends and neighbors- the batch makes more than 40 cookies, perfect for sharing, or a crowd.
Tips, tricks, and possible variations for spicy gingersnap cookies
- the recipe calls for granulated sugar but in a pinch you can use brown sugar.
- for rolling the cookies sugar in the raw is the prettiest but I’ve used vanilla sugar, regular granulated sugar, and a mixture of brown and plain white granulated (pictured).
- the recipe lists the extremes, if this seems too much for you or you don’t have all on hand you can eliminate the the garam masala, lower the amount of ginger to between 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons.
- as noted below, ten minutes works for me, but you can go as low as 8 if you want a softer chewier cookie and as high as 14 (if your pan is dark or well used the bottoms of the cookies may get too dark with longer cooking times) for a crispy crunchy gingersnap.
Spicy Gingersnap Cookies
Adapted ever so slightly from Sheila Lukins All Around the World Cookbook
There is considerably more spice (double) in this than most gingersnap recipes.
- 12 T 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup regular molasses
- 1 large lightly beaten egg
- 2 cups all purpose flour can substitute 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup sugar plus extra for rolling
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp garam marsala
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375F.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat, and mix in molasses. Let cool.
Sift all dry ingredients together.
Once the butter mixture has cooled enough that you won’t be cooking the egg, add the egg and mix.
Combine the wet and dry mixtures and stir until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm- thirty minutes or so.
Fill a shallow dish with sugar.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, folding in a bit of candied ginger, if desired- then roll in sugar and place 2 inches apart on an un-greased baking sheet (use parchment paper if the cookie sheet is no longer shiny).
Bake on ovens middle rack for 8-14 minutes—8 minutes if you want a softer, chewy cookie, 12-14 minutes if you want a crispy cookie. In my oven 10 minutes produces a cookie happily in the middle. Rotate halfway through.
Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes (the cookies will be too soft to remove from the pan without falling apart when first out of the oven) then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.
the garam masala used in this recipe is the blend from penzey spices