Gingersnap Cookies are a
highly addictive, sugar coated cookie that gets its chewy texture and spicy
flavor from adding brown sugar, molasses, and ground spices (cinnamon,
ginger and cloves) to the batter. The longer you bake Gingersnaps, the more
crispy they become, and while these are perfect with coffee, kids love
this American favorite with a tall glass of milk.
There are differences of opinion as to how 'spicy' a Gingersnap
Cookie should be, and for that very reason I will tell you how to adjust
the batter to suit your own individual taste. The first thing you must do is to make sure you
check your ground spices to see if they are still fresh, as stale spices
will definitely make your gingersnaps 'flat' tasting. With that being
said, one way to increase spiciness is to add, along with the other
spices, a 1/4 teaspoon of white or black ground pepper or a 1/4 cup of
finely diced crystallized ginger (which you can buy in small tins at
specialty food stores or in bulk form from the health food store). There are two types of molasses generally used in baking; light and dark.
While I have used light molasses in this recipe,
if you want a cookie with a more robust flavor, try using the dark molasses.
Light molasses comes from the first boiling of the sugar syrup and is
lighter in flavor and color than the dark molasses which comes from the
second boiling. Molasses is usually labeled as "sulphured"
or "unsulphured" depending on whether sulphur was used in the processing. I prefer the unsulphured molasses which is lighter in color and tends to have a nicer
flavor. By the way, molasses is used in baked goods, not only for
flavor, but also for color and moistness. Also, because molasses does stick
to your measuring cup, it is a good idea to lightly spray
your measuring cup with a nonstick vegetable spray before pouring in the
Cookies: In the bowl of
your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until
light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the molasses, egg,
and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. In a separate bowl
whisk together the
flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add to the butter mixture and mix
until well combined. Cover and chill the batter for about 30 - 60 minutes or
oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar in a medium sized bowl. When
the batter has chilled sufficiently, roll into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Roll
each ball of dough into the sugar, coating it thoroughly. Place on
the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Then, with the bottom of a glass,
flatten the cookies slightly. For a cookie with crisp edges and a soft and chewy
center, bake for about 12 minutes. (The longer the cookies bake, the more
crisp they will be.) Cool on a wire rack. Can be stored in an airtight
container, at room temperature, for about five days.
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