Gingersnap Cookies

BakingCookieGingerMolasses

Best Gingersnap Cookies ever! These ultra-thin gingersnap cookies are made with molasses and ground ginger, and baked until lightly browned and crispy.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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?

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.

Thin Gingersnap Cookies stacked on plate

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Two Key Tips For Perfection

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:

  1. Thinly slice: Slice the frozen cookie dough as thin as possible, the thinner the cookie, the crispier it will be
  2. Don’t leave out the pepper: Don’t skip the 1/8 of a teaspoon of finely 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.

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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.

Fresh ginger also works. Feel free to swap out the ground ginger with the same amount of finely minced fresh ginger.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons 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 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Method

1 Beat butter, add sugar, add vanilla, eggs, add molasses: Beat the 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 Whisk together dry ingredients: Vigorously whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, finely ground black pepper) in a bowl.

3 Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients: Add flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, 1/3 at a time.  Mix only until the dry ingredients become incorporated.

4 Press into lined loaf pan, freeze: 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.

5 Thinly slice from frozen dough: Unwrap and remove dough from the pan.  Slice brick into thin slices, no more than 1/8".

6 Bake: Working in batches, place thin slices on a parchment or a Silpat-lined sheet pan (space at least an inch apart) and bake at 350°F 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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Close up on Gingersnap Cookies showing crisp texture

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

104 Comments / Reviews

No ImageGingersnap Cookies

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Talya

    I don’t know where I went wrong! The mixture didn’t freeze (even after 2 days in the freezer) , it was just a very tacky sticky gloopy smoosh that I couldn’t even remotely cut. So I kind of smoothed it down in thin rectangles, and it puffed up and was super soft. Even after days – soft as cake. I used margerine instead of butter – but I often make that substitution so I don’t see how that could be. And to check you did mean baking soda and not packing powder right? The taste was spot on… But it was just way too soft.

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Von

    So good and really easy to make! My dough cut really easily after freezing. My bake time was 8.5-9 mins, but I think because I wasn’t great at cutting them really thin… I used honey instead of molasses, and brown sugar instead of granulated, as thats what I had in my pantry, and still worked great! Next time I want to try to add some crushed walnuts or something, I think this would be a really fun recipe to experiment with. Thank you x

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Laurence F

    The recipe looks wonderful however we just made the ingredients and it was more like a stiff batter than a dough (it wouldn’t pour but it certainly wouldn’t hold shape if clumped together like a pastry dough or similar) and was pretty easy to mix. I’ve put it in the freezer but am wondering if I got it right.

    Any thoughts?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Garrett

    This recipe is great! I swapped out half a teaspoon of ginger for half a teaspoon of ground cloves for a little extra kick. My family raves about these! The best part is it makes so many that you can give them away to friends, and they’re so thin that you don’t feel guilty eating them! Amazing recipe, thank you!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Mikie T

    I used a gluten free four & they came out great! 7 minutes was the ideal baking time for mine.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Gingersnap Cookies Spread Out On PlateGingersnap Cookies