Gingersnap Cookies

Crisp and Snappy Gingersnap Cookies

It took several tries to get the crisp texture and cracked tops characteristic of gingersnap cookies, tweaking the recipe a little each time. When I finally noticed that I’ve been mistakenly using baking powder instead of baking soda, it turned out that the original recipe was perfect straight out of the box.

Baking soda is used with the acidity of molasses to create gas when baked, helping the cookies expand and crack the tops open. The baking powder cookies were dense and soft with the slightest hint of chewiness, so feel free to use baking powder, intentionally or not, if that’s your preference.

recipe adapted from Michel Suas’ Advanced Bread and Pastry
Holiday Cookie Swap hosted by Joelen

Gingersnap Cookie Recipe

makes 18 gingersnap cookies

Ingredients:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
all-purpose or bread flour        2 cups          9.2          261
baking soda                       2 tsp
salt                            1/2 tsp
cloves, ground                  1/4 tsp
cinnamon, ground                1/2 tsp
ginger, ground                    1 tsp

unsalted butter                  12 tbsp          6.2          175
granulated sugar                3/4 cup + 2 tbsp  6.3          179
large egg, lightly beaten         1
molasses, unsulphured           1/4 cup           2.8           80

sugar for dredging, preferably coarse-grained (sanding or turbinado)

Notes:

  • Have all of the ingredients at room temperature before continuing.

To Prepare the Gingersnap Cookie Dough:

Mix Dry Ingredients
                Place the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon,
                and ginger in a container with a tight lid. Cover and
                shake until thoroughly mixed.

Mix (Creaming Method)
                In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light
                and fluffy. Slowly add the egg followed by the molasses,
                mixing to incorporation with each addition.

                Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix just until
                smooth and thoroughly incorporated.

Shape           Shape the dough into a log and wrap tightly in parchment
                or plastic. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

To Bake the Gingersnap Cookies:

Preheat Oven    350ºF / 175ºC

Prepare two parchment-lined or lightly greased half-sheet pans or
cookie sheets.

Shape           Cut the dough into 18 pieces, about 1.5 ounces / 45 grams
                per piece. Roll into balls and dredge with sugar. Space
                9 balls evenly on each half-sheet pan or cookie sheet.

Gingersnap Cookies - Balls of Dough Topped with Turbinado Sugar
Gingersnap truffles.

Bake            Bake the cookies one 9-piece batch at a time, at
                350ºF / 175ºC for 20 to 22 minutes.

Cool            Transfer to a wire rack. The cookies will crisp as they
                cool.

Gingersnap Cookies with Baking Powder - Fail
The same recipe baked with baking powder instead of baking soda. Cookie Fail.

Baked Gingersnap Cookies Cracked Tops
Gingersnap Cookies with a dash of paying attention.

Spiced Cookie Variations:

Indian garam masala and Chinese 5-spice powder worked surprisingly well. Japanese shichimi togarashi? Not so much.

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56 Responses to “Gingersnap Cookies”

  1. noobcook says:

    They are gorgeous Jude. And so perfect for the festive season ^_^

  2. Rosa says:

    Very pretty! Both versions look good!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Lien says:

    Lovely these spicy cookies, I love the ones with the cracks, beautiful. I’d like them with 5-spice too ;-)

  4. robin @ caviar and codfish says:

    I always have to triple check whether it’s soda or powder – wish they’d take the “baking” out of there!

    The cookies look perfectly snappy.

  5. Eileen says:

    Love ginger! These look like great cookies.

  6. kat says:

    I’m always having to remind myself the difference between the powder & soda when working on a recipe, it really does make a difference

  7. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    I have so mixed up the baking soda and baking powder. At least it was a simple mix up and you still have a great recipe. I just the crackly topping.

  8. Joelen says:

    These came out beautifully! I hope you considering submitting this to my Holiday Cookie blogging event. Details are in my blog’s left sidebar and the deadline is this weekend!

  9. maris says:

    These look delicious! I love gingersnaps and can’t wait to try these!

  10. javapot says:

    So glad u made these (i’ve been having trouble gettin the crack look) so i’ll definitely be trying this soon. :)

  11. Squawkfox says:

    These are my absolute favorite cookies. There’s nothing like a ginger snap cookie with a fine cup of tea.

  12. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    Beautiful ginger snaps – I think this is how I came to love ginger!

    Funny how it’s those little things that can change the world!

  13. Carolyn Jung says:

    Wow, garam masala? What a great idea to use in a traditional spice cookie. I must give that a whirl.

  14. Jescel says:

    oh i love ginger cookies.. this looks perfect.. everything you do looks perfect!

  15. rainbowbrown says:

    They both look rather wonderful. Mistakes are funny that way.

  16. Christina says:

    What is the difference between the cookies with bread flour and ap flour?

    I love how the tops look with coarse sugar instead of granulated sugar, it looks more sparkly.

  17. Soma says:

    I love that crackly top. I haven;t made too many ginger cookies ( my daughter loves them … I got to start making them), but nver got this top.

  18. Caitlin says:

    It’s amazing what a difference baking powder and baking soda make – I love how crackled the tops are though.

  19. Caroline says:

    These cookies are epic WIN!! :)
    Thanks for the 5-spice idea, I’ve only been using this for savory stuff and been meaning to do something sweet with it.

  20. Ramona says:

    It looks great! I love cookies! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. yasmeen says:

    Ginger Snapies,guess I’ll bake mine with soda next time:)

  22. snookydoodle says:

    I like both versions . They all look great :)

  23. Andrea says:

    I love gingersnaps, it’s the only cookie we ever buy but I guess I should be making them instead. I’ve tagged you with a meme, participate only if you want to: http://cooking-books.blogspot.com/2008/12/two-tags.html

  24. Lori Lynn says:

    Love the “gingersnap truffle” photo, the shapes as well as the hue.

  25. sweetbird says:

    I hate fresh ginger, but ground ginger makes me weak in he knees. Gingerbread and ginger snaps make this bird a happy girl.

  26. giz says:

    I love the cracks on the tops of these cookies and the intensity of ginger.

  27. Manggy says:

    Wow, I never realized the commenters on the Fail Blog were so mentally ill. Anyway, I think dense, soft, and with a hint of chewiness is a great way to go– so great either way, and no fail ;)

  28. Rachel says:

    Beautiful. I played with this recipe a little, changing the type of sugar and the amount of spice, and it came out fabulously. Unfortunately, both batches disappeared so quickly I’ve got no photos to post with! I’ll be making more soon though; I want to pair them with salted caramel ice cream for a dinner party this weekend.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    Excuse me for commenting so late; I have been remiss about blog visiting.

    Mmmm, ginger snaps! I love ginger snaps! Thanks for the reminder to make some …actually, I think I will try to manipulate my husband simply by saying, “did you see Jude’s ginger snaps?”

    Am I correct that the baking powder version are the ones with the marked fissures in top?

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