Gingersnap Cookies

My mother doesn’t bake. She’s a great cook, but she avoids recipes and baking usually entails rather particular recipes, so she leaves the baking to my father and me. She also has a well developed sweet tooth, so when she has a hankering for a baked good she drops oh so many not-so-subtle hints about what would be really wonderful for dad or me to make. Her most requested cookie?

Her most loved cookie amongst our vast repertoire of cookies, is this one, the ultra-thin gingersnap. Thin and crisp, the cookie practically melts in your mouth. Once you have one, it is almost impossible to stop eating them.

Gingersnap Cookies

The original recipe was passed along from food blogger to food blogger years ago by a woman who has since stopped blogging. She claimed to have gotten the recipe from Chez Panisse, when she asked for it while interviewing for a job. The two keys to this recipe I’ve found are 1) slicing the frozen cookie dough as thin as possible, the thinner the cookie, the crispier it will be, and 2) including the 1/8 of a teaspoon of ground black pepper that the recipe calls for. Black pepper is an odd ingredient to add to a cookie, but you’ll just have to take it on faith that it works in this recipe. Unless you have an aversion to black pepper, be sure to include it.

Gingersnap Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Freezing time: 12 hours
  • Yield: Makes 6 to 8 dozen cookies

In place of parchment I've started to use silicone baking sheets for cookie making; nothing sticks to these mats and clean-up is a breeze.

Yum

Ingredients

  • 8 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 small eggs or 1 1/2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Method

1 Cream butter until soft; add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until fluffy.  Add molasses and beat until well-mixed.

2 Sift the dry ingredients; add to the mixture, 1/3 at a time.  Mix only until the dry ingredients become incorporated.

3 Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that some hangs over the outsides.  Press the dough into the bottom of the pan.  Pack it tightly, and try to make the top as level as possible.  Cover the dough with the plastic overhangs.  Freeze until very firm, preferably overnight.

4 Unwrap and remove dough from the pan.  Slice brick into thin slices, no more than 1/8".  Working in batches, place on a parchment or a Silpat-lined sheet pan (space at least an inch apart) and bake at 350 degrees until the edges turn dark brown, 7-12 minutes, depending on how thinly you have sliced the dough. Check the oven for doneness at 7 minutes.

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Gingersnap Cookies

Showing 4 of 45 Comments

  • Cameron

    I LOVE ginersnaps! I do think they are my favorite cookies–next to chocolate chip. I will have to make these when I have the calories to spare. I try not to kvetch too much about fat/calories…but actually, I noticed these don’t have nearly the amount of butter that many ginger snap recipes calling for 3 cups of flour would have. Would you agree, Elise? As well, there seems to be a low porportion of ginger (though, the molasses and cinnamon adds to the flavor of the cookie as much as the ginger does.) Wondering rather than questioning!
    Thank you for the recipe!

    Hi Cameron, I don’t know about the proportions compared to others; all I know is that these cookies turn out great. Even my father, who says “ugh” at the mention of ginger anything likes them. ~Elise

  • Kimbie

    I just have to say thank you for your gingersnaps recipe! I made a huge batch for a friend who was having a Christmas party . She promptly locked them in her cupboard until everyone left. Merry Christmas!

    p.s. I prefer my cookies with a sharper bite, so second time round I used more ginger and pepper.

  • Dana

    These look absolutely wonderful! I will be making these for a cookie exchange.

    About how many cookies do you get out of a batch?

    Note from Elise: Depending on how thinly you slice them you could make a hundred cookies from one batch. I generally make a batch, put it into the freezer and then slice off as many cookies as I want to make at a time.

  • Agota

    We love gingersnap cookies! I`m from Europe, and the first of these cookies I tried came from a bag, from our local farmers` market. My sister-in-law is a big fan, so I decided to make some for her. And they turned out so wonderful! My sister-in-law told me they were even better than the ones she buys at the store. Coming from her, that`s a BIG thing, `cause she loves that brand. They also came handy when we had to take my daughter to her doctor`s appointment. (All those long hours of waiting, we always get hungry…;-)) And the fact that it`s a frozen batch, is just a plus. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us, dear Elise! ;-) I keep my family satisfied on your recipes.

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