Crispy, chewy, perfectly perfect gingersnaps are a must at Christmas, but to be honest, we recommend eating them year-round! This is the best recipe for gingersnap cookies!
These cookies bring back such memories for me. They’re most well known as gingersnaps, but we’ve also been known to call them ginger sparkles. Because they sparkle. And who doesn’t need a little sparkle in their life?
Here’s a fun confession: 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. They’re so perfectly chewy and crispy, just as a gingersnap should be. But you can also make them crispier (we’ll chat about that soon), my mom prefers them crispy.
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. It’s extracted from the sugarcane in the process of refining sugarcane into sugar. Long story short, the juice is extracted from the sugarcane and then boiled until it is thick and dark brown. If you’re interested in the process, you can read more here.
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.
About these gingersnaps
These gingersnap cookies are full of flavor from ginger, cinnamon, and molasses. They’re easy to make and freeze well.
They come together like many cookies do. First cream the shortening and sugar, and then add the egg and molasses. Next add the dry ingredients. Form the dough into balls and roll in sugar to make them sparkle! You can freeze them at this point, or you can freeze them once they’re baked.
- Try adding finely minced candied ginger for an extra ginger-y kick!
- We think they’re perfect as-is, but have fun adjusting the spices: Add a little extra cinnamon, sprinkle in some cloves or nutmeg…whatever makes you happy!
- Dip them in chocolate. Because why not?
How to freeze:
I prefer to freeze these already baked, making it easy to get your holiday baking done ahead of time and take some of the stress out of the holidays. You can freeze them in an airtight container or a zip-top freezer bag, but make sure they’re completely cooled first.
I also recommend separating layers using parchment or wax paper to prevent them from sticking to each other.
More Christmas Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups shortening
- 1 cup white granulated sugar + extra for rolling
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, cream shortening and sugar together. Beat in eggs and molasses.
- Mix in dry ingredients.
- Form into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
- Roll balls in sugar and place about 2″ apart on cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy around edges.
- For crispier gingersnaps, bake for 1-2 minutes longer.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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?