(recipe, Tom Douglas)
A simple, homey cookie, but one of our favorites. Grated fresh ginger, instead of powdered ginger, gives these cookies the snap the name promises. We serve gingersnaps with creamy desserts, such as ice creams, sorbets, or custards. These flavor-filled cookies are best when they are still very slightly warm from the oven.
- 1 cup sugar, plus ½ cup more for rolling
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer or with a wooden spoon, cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, molasses, and ginger, and mix to combine. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Refrigerate the dough, covered with plastic wrap, for at least an hour before shaping the cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup sugar on a plate. Form ¾-inch balls of the dough and roll the balls in the sugar before placing them on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press the balls of dough flat with the palm of your hand. The cookies should be spaced 2 or 3 inches apart after they are flattened.
- Bake until golden brown and set around the edges but still slightly soft in the center, 7 to 8 minutes, turning the baking sheet around in the oven halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before removing them with a metal spatula. The gingersnaps will firm up as they cool.
Gingersnaps will stay fresh for a few days in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also keep the baked and completely cooled cookies in the freezer, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for a week or two. The cookie dough can be made ahead, tightly wrapped, and refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for even longer.
Culinate editor's notes: These cookies will turn out equally delicious with whole-wheat pastry flour subbing for the regular flour. You can also add nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and mace to the cookies (about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. each) for a spicier flavor. And rolling the dough balls in demerara or muscovado sugar (or regular granulated sugar) will result in cookies with a satisfying surface crunch.