Pillow-soft or crunchy, gingersnaps are perfect this time of year

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

There are two different types of people. Those who love crispy, delicate gingersnaps (see NOTE) and those who love pillow soft, fluffy gingersnaps. Here are directions for both!

If you want darker cookies, use light or dark brown sugar in place of granulated in cookie dough. This recipe is foolproof and should be saved for many years to enjoy.

softandpuffygingersnaps-13/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons each baking powder and cinnamon
2 teaspoons dried ginger *
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Cream the butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl until as smooth as possible with an electric mixer.  Add egg and molasses and continue beating until well combined.

In a separate bowl, blend remaining ingredients and add to butter mixture slowly. After everything is beaten as smooth as possible with an electric mixer, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm enough to handle without being too sticky.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Pinch off enough dough to form a 2-inch ball, roll it between your palms and then roll in remainder of sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving at least 1-inch between cookies. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until puffed up and starting to show small cracks on top. Remove from oven to cool slightly before removing to wire racks to completely cool.

Makes 24

* Because I think all gingersnap cookies should be well-pronounced with the flavor of ginger, these cookies stand up to that mantra. If a less pungent taste of ginger is desired, cut the amount in half.

NOTE: For crispy gingersnaps, after mixing all ingredients, transfer dough to a work surface and roughly shape into an 8 to 10-inch log. Place this rough log into the center of a large piece of film wrap. Roll the dough in wrap, forming a more uniform log as you do so. Place in freezer at least 2 hours, or until firm. Remove from freezer, unwrap and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Coat each side with sugar and place on an ungreased cookie pan with about 2-inches between each cookie. Bake in a 350-degree F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottom of each is darker the the tops and the centers are firm. Remove to cool as directed above.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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