The Best Gingersnaps Recipe

20161207-gingersnaps-vicky-wasik2.jpg
Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Fresh and powdered ginger create a deep but aromatic heat.
  • Whole wheat flour adds a graham cracker-y flavor and crunch.
  • Fresh and powdered ginger create a deep but aromatic heat.
  • Seasoned with the natural mineral content of molasses, no need for added salt.

With two types of ginger, these cookies are complex and spicy, but mellowed by earthy molasses and graham-y whole wheat flour. Don't be alarmed by the spiciness of the dough, the burn of raw ginger will mellow in the oven. Resist the temptation to snack too soon, it takes two hours at room temperature for these gingersnaps to crisp. When they do, watch out—the crunch is intense!

Recipe Facts

4.5

(14)

Active: 25 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Makes: 48 cookies

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Ingredients

  • 7 ounces sugar (1 cup; 200 grams)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda (10 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (3 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely grated (20 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger (10 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (15 mL)
  • A few cracks of black pepper
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks; 170 grams); firm but pliable, about 60°F (16°C)
  • 2 ounces sorghum or unsulphured molasses, not blackstrap (60 grams; about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 12 ounces traditional whole wheat flour (2 1/2 cups; 340 grams)
  • Raw or granulated sugar for finishing

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle middle position, preheat to 350°F (175°C), and line two aluminum half sheet pans with parchment paper (not wax paper!).

  2. Combine sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, gingers, vanilla, pepper, butter and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low to moisten, increase to medium, then beat until fluffy, pale tan, and soft, about 5 minutes. Add egg and beat until smooth, 2 minutes more, pausing to scrape as needed. Resume mixing on low, sprinkle in flour, and continue until a soft dough is formed.

  3. Divide into 48 level 1/2-ounce portions with a 1 tablespoon scoop. Roll smooth and round, tumble in a dish with raw or granulated sugar, and arrange on prepared sheet pans, leaving 2 inches in between. Do not flatten, these cookies will spread on their own.

  4. Bake until puffed and chestnut brown, about 22 minutes. Cool directly on sheet pan 2 hours—prior to that, gingersnaps will not be crisp inside. Store leftovers in an airtight container up to 3 weeks at room temperature.

Special equipment

Stand mixer, paddle attachment, #60 cookie scoop (1 tablespoon), aluminum half sheet pans

Notes

Make ahead: portion dough onto a cutting board wrapped with plastic, cover lightly, and chill until firm; about 30 minutes. Divide between a few heavy-duty zipper-lock bags, and refrigerate up to 1 week (freeze 2 months). Bring to room temperature, roughly 70°F, then roll, coat, and bake as directed.

Due to its unique pH and sodium content, blackstrap molasses will give these cookies a cakey texture and slightly bitter edge. If you can't get a hold of molasses, reach for Lyle's Golden Syrup instead.

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