Ginger Sparkles {aka Gingersnaps}

These cookies bring back such memories for me. Some people might call them gingersnaps, but we’re going to stick with ginger sparkles. Because they sparkle. And who doesn’t need a little sparkle in their life?

But I never really liked them as I was growing up.  Perhaps that is part of the memory. As my tastes have matured, I’ve grown to really enjoy these flavorful ginger cookies.

My mom has made them for years–every year, as long as I can remember.  My aunt could live on them. I think she’d be perfectly happy if they were her only gift every year–for every occasion.

I remember it was always my sister’s job in the kitchen to roll these out and coat them in sugar.

I’m not sure what I was doing, maybe eating? No! Well…okay…yes, but also I always made chocolate peanut butter cups (not fancy peanut butter filled ones, the peanut butter was mixed up with the chocolate) with all sorts of yummy things stirred in them. I was the little sis–her job was far more important. We didn’t want to give Aunt Mary oddly shaped ginger sparkles! Although–I’m not sure she would have minded.

Looks like E and I will be starting a new tradition of her trying to throw my bowl of sugar on the carpet while I attempt to photograph it. I can’t wait until she is old enough to make Christmas cookies (and everything else) with me. I hope she loves to cook and bake as much as I do.

Another reason I enjoy making these cookies is because it reminds me of our honeymoon in Jamaica. Not because we ate them there, but because of the molasses. Did you know molasses comes from sugarcane? While we were in Jamaica we visited a rum distillery and tasted sugarcane in all of its many forms, including molasses. It was so interesting to learn not only how rum was made but also about molasses.

Ginger Sparkles

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups shortening
1 cup white granulated sugar + extra for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix dry ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, cream shortening and sugar together. Beat in eggs and molasses.
3. Sift in dry ingredients.
4. Form into small balls. (My mom’s notes say “marble-sized,” but make sure you’re thinking of the big marbles, unless you want bite-sized ginger sparkles. Which would be fun too!
5. Roll balls in sugar and place ~2″ apart on cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 10 minutes.

Note: If you like crisper cookies, bake for one or two minutes longer and/or roll them smaller. I like them a little chewy, while my mom prefers them crispy.

Verdict: Honestly, these are winners. Look at them! I didn’t even use a cookie scoop and they still look beautiful (in my own very humble opinion).
Husband’s take: I’ll get back to you on that one.
Changes I would make: Nada.
Difficulty: Easy. You don’t even have to soften butter.

Do you have any cookie making memories? What is your favorite Christmas cookie to make? Which one is your favorite to eat?

When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!


  1. Oh I love these. I never really made cookies for the holidays but it’s definitely a tradition I would want to have if I have children. These cookies look so wonderfully soft and delicious.

  2. These sound fantastic!

    And wow a sugar cane tasting sounds so cool. Wow what an experience!! :-)

  3. These look absolutely gorgeous. I love ginger biscuits and the cracks on yours are just perfect. Delicious for Christmas, but I’d be happy eating these all year round :-)

  4. You had me at the first picture. I want to make these asap. I love how yours turned out so perfect looking with the cracks and they look like the perfect size. I’m such a sucker for gingersnaps. I’ve never made them before myself, though, so I will try this sometime soon :)

  5. I love CHEWY ginger and molasses cookies and these look so good.

    And about that trip to the Jamaican rum distillery…can I come with next time?

  6. love love love!! seriously! :) I buy gingersnaps at the store all of the time and have made chewy molasses cookies but never crispy gingersnaps! I must try this.

  7. I’ve been making oodles of gingerbread cookies lately to teach gingerbread house making and decorating but I’ve never made gingersnaps. With all the ingredients on hand I am definitely going to make a batch. I love the flavor and the aroma that it sends through the house is so soothing – it smells like the holidays.

    Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  8. These look fantastic! I hate store-bought gingersnaps but I bet these are tender and delicious. Going on my Christmas baking list! :)

  9. beautiful pictures! Your cookies turned out beautifully :) I love gingersnaps in all forms. :)

  10. Absolutely gorgeous looking Ginger Sparkles (Love their name). Got to try these…definitely. Buzzed!

  11. These turned out beautiful! I love how yours crackled on the top just like all those professional ones are supposed to. ;)

    I’m sure that lil E will be demanding to stir batter and shape cookie dough balls before you know it!

  12. Your gingercookies put mine to shame! Wow they look
    Incredible. Perfectly chewy yet with a hint if crispiness around the edges!

  13. I’ve never made gingersnaps at home, but I need to remedy that asap after seeing these!

  14. I love gingersnaps and have been seeing lots of great recipes lately. I love that close up photograph!

  15. My husband’s mom actually made “Ginger Sparkles” (That’s what they called them too!)when we dated, which I thought was cute since their last name(and mine too:))is Sparks. He made them for me when we dated~LONG ago!
    Your cookies are the picture of perfection~the shape, the texture, and I’m sure the taste!

    Your little girl is adorable!

  16. Your cookies turned out so pretty and round! I like the name “Ginger Sparkles” – they sound magical that way. If only they really were magical – magical in the way of having no calories :)

  17. I’m so glad I found your blog… these cookies look perfect for wintertime and the photos are so beautiful!

  18. These are one of my very favorite holiday cookies and you certainly did them proud! They do sparkle and they are just the yummiest. So glad we got an adorable pic of your girl!

  19. These cookies are so perfect!

  20. i saw the picture of these and knew i had to make them immediately. i had all the ingredients on hand so i went for it. they haven’t even cooled yet and the last batch is still in the oven and i have already eaten 3! thanks for a definite keeper recipe.

  21. Beautiful cookies Rachel! I love that pic of E. :)

  22. I think ginger sparkles sounds much better than ginger snaps. I made a similar cookie last week and have been nibbling away on them. I call it ‘Christmas present research.’

    Your little girl is gorgeous and I bet she’ll love baking as much as her mum!

  23. I wish I had one of these delicious cookies in my hands right now! Perfect with a cold glass of milk. Like you, I can’t wait until my twins are old enough to cook with me. I’m hoping in another year or two they’ll be in the kitchen with me being mommy’s little helpers. :)

    • God bless you for having twins. I cannot even imagine! You must be so exhausted when the day ends! How old are they?

      • Thank you! They definitely keep me busy. They are almost 17 months so they are all over the place right now. They are so funny together and they are at that stage where they babble to one another, its hilarious.

  24. I’m in crazy cookie heaven. Gingersnaps are by far my favorite cookie… they are so CHEWY and moist and filled with so much flavor. They really should be called little balls of cookie fury. Do these babies flatten when they are baking or do you need to form them their shape?

    Katie at

  25. LOVE the pictures! Especially the one with your sweet little girl. It’s so much fun to have my girls in the kitchen with me. But I do have to remember to “let go of the mess” because it happens – A LOT – with two kids under the age of 3! :)

  26. I’m with you on the grown-up matured liking of gingersnap cookies. I love them now! Especially ones that sparkle as pretty as yours!

  27. I loooove gingersnaps! And yours are so cute and sparkly :)

  28. Boy am I glad I stumbled onto your blog post – I’ve been looking for a recipe for chewy gingersnaps for a couple years and never found anything close to what I wanted to make. I can’t wait to make these cookies!

  29. I’ve only recently come to appreciate gingersnaps too! Yours look absolutely perfect :)

  30. These look awesome! Love that you named them ginger sparkles….I do need some sparkle in my life! :)

    My favorite cookies growing up was my stepmoms gum drop cookies…yum!

  31. I would love to make these cookies, they look fantastic!

  32. those are perfect-looking ginger cookies!

  33. Love those gingersnaps! I still like to keep the tradition going and try to make them every year (if I’m able) ;) Looks like you filled in for me this year!! Now I really am craving one.

  34. Hey Rachel, your Sparkle is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win?

    Show your foodie love and vote here

  35. Those cookies look absolutely perfect!! I am kinda jealous!

  36. My favorite Christmas cookie is the PB Blossom. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE them. I also really like these candy cane ones my mom makes. I’ve never tried to make them, but she says it’s a pain. She makes them for me anyway.

    I like to make any kind of cookie, really. Except maybe Spritz. They taste great, but it usually takes me 2-3 pans to remember how to really work the cookie press, and by then the dough is almost gone anyway. :(

  37. hi there – came across these and they look fab. how many does a batch make? thinking of making them for my son’s class christmas morning at school.

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  40. Just pinned these yummy looking cookies. Could I use butter or margarine in place of the shortening ? I don;t want to have to make a trip to the store!

    • I haven’t made these with butter or margarine so I can’t promise the same results. If you don’t use the shortening, the cookies might not be as soft and chewy. They may also be thinner. Let me know if you give it a try!

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  42. Hi, Just made these cookies per directions and mine did not flatten and crinkle. Also, you mention “eggs” but recipe only calls for 1 egg. Do you know why mine my not be flattening and crinkling? Love the taste though. These are a keeper

    • Hmm, it’s always difficult for me to know without being there in the kitchen with you. The egg measurement is correct. It could be how you measured the flour. I typically spoon it into the measuring cup and level with a knife. If you scoop it out with the measuring cup, it can lead to using too much flour and then the cookies won’t flatten as much. Glad you love the taste though!

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