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My Gingersnaps

(recipe, Alice Medrich)


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Introduction

With crunchy edges and a chewy center, beautifully crackled on top, spicy, and loaded with diced crystallized ginger, this is my favorite spice cookie. When no one is around, I dip these into a carton of quark for a grand, if inelegant, snack — the contrast of tangy cheese with spicy ginger reminds me of gingerbread with sour cream.

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp. baking soda
  3. 2 tsp. ground ginger
  4. 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  5. ½ tsp. ground allspice
  6. ¼ tsp. salt
  7. 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and just warm
  8. ¼ cup unsulphured mild or full-flavored molasses
  9. ½ cup sugar
  10. ⅓ cup (2.3 ounces) firmly packed brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
  11. 2 Tbsp. finely minced or grated fresh ginger root
  12. 1 large egg
  13. ¾ cup (4 ounces) ginger chips or crystallized ginger, cut into ¼-inch dice
  14. About ½ cup demerara or turbinado or ¼ cup granulated sugar, for rolling

Steps

  1. Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt, and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. Combine the warm butter, molasses, both sugars, fresh ginger, and the egg in a large bowl, and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and ginger chips and stir until incorporated. The dough will be soft.
  4. Form the dough into 1-inch balls (½ ounce of dough for each). Roll the balls in the demerara sugar and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  5. Bake, rotating the sheets from back to front and top to bottom about halfway through the baking, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they puff up and crack on the surface and then begin to deflate in the oven. (For chewier cookies, remove them from the oven when at least half or more of the cookies have begun to deflate; for crunchier edges with chewy centers, bake a minute or so longer.)
  6. Slide the parchment sheets of cookies onto cooling racks or use an offset spatula to transfer the cookies, and cool completely.

Note

Stored in an airtight container, these gingersnaps keep for several days. Culinate editor's note: The finished dough, as Medrich notes, will be quite soft. If it's too mushy to work with, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for an hour in the fridge before rolling it into balls. You may need to bake the cookies a few minutes longer if your chilled dough is especially firm.