Gingersnap Cookies

BakingCookieGingerMolasses

Best Gingersnap Cookies ever! Ultra-thin gingersnap cookies with molasses and ground ginger, 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.

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 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.

Gingersnap Cookies Recipe

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  • 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.

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 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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Gingersnap Cookies

Showing 4 of 56 Comments / Reviews

  • Elizabeth

    Hello, I’ve found using an empty pringles container will give you a nice round (big) cookie. Also, I’ve started putting freshly made chopped candied ginger and/or lemon on top for an extra zing. I’ve been selling the frozen dough in a wrapped pringles tube. The lid is very handy. Made these about 10 times in December.

    Highly recommend dipping these into tzao organic chai tea.

    ps if you’re finding the spices aren’t enough try buying new ones. The pricier ginger and cinnamon is really worth it. Grinding your own peppercorns in a mortar and pestle also helps.

    pps if you make your own candied ginger the syrup warmed up with lemon and whiskey also goes verrrrry nicely with these on a cold night.

  • Vicky

    Had these at a Holiday party last night and loved them. I can’t wait to cook these myself.
    Do you think using a cheese slicer would work and make thin enough slices?

  • Amanda

    Hi I think I may be whipping these a little to much. The first time I made these was with a hand held mixer. But I’ve since up graded to a mixer. I loved the first time I made these but since the mixer they haven’t been as crisp. When I watched them bake the first time they almost looked like it was candy bubbling around the edges. Now they get puffy. Still good but I can’t seem to replicate the crispyness again. Any tips?

  • freida thomas

    Gingersnaps were a Friday night treat for my Mom’s siblings and cousins. At this year’s upcoming Family Reunion, I was asked to bring Gingersnap Cookies. They will be a treat for Mom’s generation (70+). I have tested this recipe and with an additional 1/4 tsp of ginger, they are exceptional.

    Unlike other cookie recipes, prolonged exposure to air softens them. What’s the best way to store two batches of this recipe? Will zip-lock bags serve to protect them and keep the cookies crisp?

    I look forward to your reply.

  • Chef-Boy Ortiz

    OK, I’m obviously no master chef, but I’ve got to ask – how much is half of an egg? (and don’t tell me “about fifteen cents”)

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