Gingersnap Cookie Recipe (2024)


Gingersnap Cookie Recipe (1)

During my interview at Chez Panisse, as I sat across the table from Alice Waters in the main dining room at the restaurant, she asked me, “What do you eat at home?”Since I’m not exactly convincing when lying, I told her.“I eat popcorn, mostly.” And continued, “I’m a restaurant cook. I don’t have time to eat at home.”

In spite of that, or because of my chutzpah, I got hired and worked at Chez Panisse, where I stayed a long time. And one of my favorite recipes that I made there was theGingersnaps from The Art of Simple Food.

Gingersnap Cookie Recipe (2)

At first glance, one might think— Who needs this book? But as I turned the pages, I realized that these are recipes for the staples that people could and should learn, and the book is a complete reference for anyone who wants some solid, well-tested basics new dishes to add to one’s repertoire. Unlike larger and bulkier reference tomes, the recipes in The Art of Simple Food are for the way many people cook today and the book is laid out with a simple design to make it very easy for anyone to follow the recipes. It would also make an excellent gift for someone new to cooking who maybe would like to tackle a Caesar Salad or homemade pizza dough but needs a clue as to where to begin.

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Most of the recipes have just a few ingredients and if you’re anything like me, you’re often just looking for the basic proportions for things can improvise once you’ve gotten the knack of making it—so I appreciate having a recipe for a basic polenta torta, a stripped-down risotto recipe that lends itself to whatever variation one might choose, and recipes for sauces like spicy harissa, basil pesto (with winter-friendly variations), meaty Bolognese and homemade tartar sauce which would liven up a simple roasted dinner of fish, meat or vegetables.

As I read through the book, not only was I charmed by the simple line drawings by Patty Curtain, but by the friendly, approachable tone of the book. There was no preaching, just gentle guidance on how to coax the best flavors from what’s available, which some of the clearest, easy-to-follow instructions on techniques I’ve seen in a cookbook.

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But most importantly, it bears the message the good food doesn’t need to be complicated, expensive, or hard-to-prepare.Some of the recipes I’ve bookmarked are the crispy Fresh-Pickled Vegetables, savory Gougères, Herb-Roasted Almonds, and Sushi Rice, all of which I’ve made over and over again, and they’ve become staples in my kitchen.

Gingersnap Cookie Recipe (5)


Ginger Snaps

From The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution (Clarkson Potter) by Alice Waters.These cookies get crisp when cool and are great holiday cookies. I like them coated with lots of crystals of coarse sugar, which is called Hawaiian washed sugar in the US, or cassonade here in France. (Coarse sugar is also available online.)You can also rev-up the spices, and add ¼-½ teaspoon ground cardamom, cloves, nutmeg or allspice to suit your taste.

Course Dessert

  • 2 cups (280g) flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 11 tablespoons (150g) butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (130g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup 80g) mild-flavored molasses*, (sometimes called 'light' molasses)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • my optional step: coarse sugar crystals for coating the cookies
  • Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter just until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until smooth, stopping the mixer to scrape down any butter clinging to the sides of the bowl.

  • Stir in the vanilla, molasses and egg.

  • Mix in the dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth.

  • Divide the dough in two equal portions and roll each on a lightly-floured surface until each is about 2-inches (5cm) around. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect; you can neaten them up in a second.

  • Wrap each in plastic wrap then roll them lightly on the counter to smooth them out. Refrigerate, or better yet, freeze the cookie logs until firm.

  • To bake, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  • Slice cookie dough into 1/4-inch (a scant 1 cm) rounds with a sharp knife. Dip one side and press firmly in a bowl of coarse sugar if you want (you can also use granulated sugar instead), and place

    on baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Leave a couple of inches, about 5 cm, between cookies since they’ll spread while baking.

  • Bake for 10-14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until deep golden brown. The cookies will puff up a bit while baking, then settle down when they’re done. Bake on the lower end of the range for softer cookies, and more for snappier ones, depending on your oven.

  • Let the cookies cool two minutes, then remove them with a spatula and transfer them to a cooling rack.


Storage: The dough can be refrigerated for up to five days, or frozen for up to three months. Once baked, the cookies can be kept in an air-tight container for a couple of days but like anything made with butter, of course they’re best the day they’re baked.

*Outside the United States, molasses is often found in natural foods stores. For other overseas baking tips, check my post American Baking in Paris.


Gingersnap Cookie Recipe (2024)


Why are my ginger snap cookies flat? ›

Check your oven

If your oven is too hot, the fat melts faster than the cookie can set, and you end up with pancake cookies. Always preheat your oven and invest in a good oven thermometer. Even new ovens can be incorrectly calibrated, so check the actual temperature every time you put a pan in the oven.

Why do ginger snap cookies crack? ›

A heavy amount of baking soda interacts with the molasses in this recipe to encourage spread. This allows cracks in the dough to develop where moisture escapes, creating that beautiful crackled appearance and crunchy texture. Ensure your baking soda is fresh and active – learn more about that here.

Are ginger snap cookies healthy for you? ›

An ounce of ginger snaps has 142 milligrams of sodium, which is 9 percent of the 1,500 milligrams you should limit yourself to each day, according to the American Heart Association. Despite the nutritional content, ginger snaps still aren't a health food, so only indulge every once in a while.

Are ginger snap cookies good for an upset stomach? ›

Ginger. Capsules of powdered ginger have been found to reduce nausea and vomiting. You could also try a cup of ginger tea, a glass of ginger ale (some people swear it works better if it's flat), a few gingersnap cookies, or a piece of ginger candy.

What is the secret ingredient to keep cookies soft? ›

The science is simple: According to the flour authorities over at Bob's Red Mill, cornstarch can help “soften the rigid proteins of the flour, resulting in a light and chewy dessert.” “The cornstarch complements the flour in absorbing the liquids, but won't develop gluten structure like the flour will,” stresses ...

How do you make cookies fluffy instead of flat? ›

Try using baking powder instead of baking soda. Baking soda encourages spreading while baking powder puffs the cookies up. If your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, you would use 3 to 4 teaspoons of baking powder.

Why are my ginger cookies so hard? ›

“There are some gingerbread recipes that are hard right after baking and need to sit for a few days to soften. Molasses and honey hardens gingerbread, but as the sugar absorbs moisture, it will get softer.”

Should gingerbread cookies be soft or crunchy? ›

Should gingerbread cookies be hard or soft? Soft gingerbread biscuits are ideal. They ought to be flexible. However, they should still be somewhat elastic, and if you hold them too firmly because you're so excited to eat them, you might even be able to leave your fingerprints on the cookie!

What's the difference between ginger snaps and ginger cookies? ›

The basic difference between two is that the Gingerbread cookies have comparatively soft texture than the ginger snaps. The ginger snaps are dry and hard, so they 'snap'. This is due to longer time for baking and use of molasses instead of sugar.

Are ginger snaps good for high blood pressure? ›

Ginger may also decrease blood pressure by preventing blood clots from forming in your arteries and blood vessels, according to Castleman.

Can dogs eat ginger snaps? ›

Dogs cannot eat ginger snaps. Feeding your dog ginger snaps can upset your dog's stomach or lead to long-term health issues.

Are ginger snaps good for constipation? ›

Gott: My husband, age 77, has had constipation problems his whole life. He used your bran, prune juice and applesauce mix each morning for years with success. He was tired of it until he started eating eight to 10 gingersnaps with his coffee each morning. It is a pleasant change and works very well for him.

Can you eat too many ginger snaps? ›

Can you eat too much ginger? Yes, you can to the point where it leads to an upset tummy. The biggest side effect of ginger is that it tends to accelerate the passage of food and stool via the intestines, inviting restlessness and weakness.

Are ginger snaps anti inflammatory? ›

Ginger biscuits or cookies are a type of cookie that is made from ground ginger, which is often used as a spice. These cookies have been shown to be beneficial for those who suffer from joint pain or inflammation because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

What should I eat after throwing up all night? ›

Slowly add bland foods. If you've been able to drink some fluids and haven't thrown up for 6 to 8 hours, try eating small amounts of foods, such as bananas, potatoes, yogurt, rice, applesauce, unbuttered toast, dry crackers, or dry cereal. Once you're back on solid food, eat small meals every few hours.

Why didn't my ginger snaps crinkle? ›

Possibly you are not getting enough leavening to cause the cookies to crack as they bake. The kind of fat used might also affect the way the cookies rise, not making them crack.

Why is my gingerbread not holding shape? ›

If your oven is too high/too cold, then this can cause the dough to lose its shape and spread. If you're using a fan assisted oven, then drop the temp by 10 -20 degrees, the recipe you're using calls for the temp to be 180 degrees so try that and see if it solves the issue.


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