Gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies ever. I make very humble cookies, as a rule. I’m all about taste and texture and not so much about the decorating. (Though from the amount of piping tips I own you might think I was really good at it – I bought a big collection of piping tips at a flea market once, once owned by a pastry food stylist).
I admire any of you who wield a piping bag with skill and grace. I do so only reluctantly and then messily (but sometimes happily). There is someone I used to work with who made these amazing cookies that looked like little tacos, and it impressed the hell out of me…and yet did nothing to change my cookie-baking repertoire.
The smell of gingersnaps in the oven makes me feel like caroling…and I’m Jewish, so you can imagine that is one powerful aroma.
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Give these to everyone you know and love in December. But other than the holidays, gingersnaps are the perfect thank-you gift for your child’s teacher! To learn more about the Bake Your Teacher a Thank You program, click here.
It’s one of the best things I have ever been involved with at my kids’ school. It’s brought such joy to the teachers and staff, and it’s brought great joy to me and my co-chairs. Such a simple thing to do, with so much bang for your (speaking frankly and selfishly) self-worth buck.
Packaging Holiday Cookies
Do you know how easy it is to make cute little Martha Stewart-ey cookie packages? It’s very easy. Get some parchment paper. The kind they sell at the supermarket is fine. White or brown, your choice.
Put a little stack of gingersnaps (or whatever cookies) in the middle of the parchment. Fold over the sides and then the ends, just like you would if you were wrapping a present.
Or a sandwich at the deli, if you’ve ever worked at a deli. Same same.
Tie it with twine. Buy some cute colored twine, or use whatever string you have in your house, it’s all good. Tie that also like you would tie a present. It’s not like you would tie a deli sandwich unless you actually are, in fact, Martha Stewart. If you don’t feel particularly dexterous, get someone to help hold the packet while you tie it.
Right up front, you should know that this dough has to be refrigerated for 30 minutes before it’s rolled into little balls. The dough is very soft, so it really needs this chilling time, or it is hard to handle. I hate when recipes don’t let you know super quickly that there is chilling or marinating time involved. Is it not the worst when you are standing there two hours before dinner reading the words “refrigerate overnight”?
And, these cookies will last for at least 4 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.
What the Kids Can Do
Kids can measure and stir and use the mixer if they are old enough. They can roll the gingersnap dough into balls and then roll the balls in the sugar and lightly flatten them on the baking sheet. This provides a lovely teaching moment to talk about how to handle certain foods gently.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes
- The Best No-Bake Haystack Cookies
- Chewy Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate, Peanut and Pretzel No-Bake Haystack Cookies
- Big Chewy Brownie Cookies with Dried Cherries and White Chocolate Chip
- Chewy Molasses Cookies
- My New Favorite Oatmeal Cookies
- Soft Pumpkin Cookies
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cups firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (for rolling the cookies)
- Place the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl and stir to mix.
- Place the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat them on high speed until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the egg, continuing to beat on high speed until the mixture is very light and somewhat shiny, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium, then blend in the molasses. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, blending after each addition until well incorporated and scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Cover the dough and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days.
- Position two oven racks so that they divide the oven into thirds, and preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place the granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Pinch off little hunks of dough and use your hands to roll them into fat 1 1/2-inch balls. Then, roll each ball in the sugar. Arrange the balls about 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and press them with the palm of your hand to flatten them slightly. You’ll probably fit 12 cookies on each baking sheet, so it will take at least three baking sheets to bake all the cookies. You’ll want to bake two sheets at a time, placing one on the top rack and one on the bottom. Refrigerate the remaining dough until you are ready to bake it.
- Bake the gingersnaps until they are browned and cracked a bit on the top, 10 to 12 minutes. Peek partway through the baking time and rotate the baking sheets if the cookies seem to be cooking unevenly. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.