Just like the name says, Gingersnaps are rich with ginger and spice flavor and should be crispy enough to “snap” when they break. Sweetened with brown sugar and aromatic with warm spices, these satisfyingly crunchy Gingersnap Cookies are a festive addition to a holiday cookie tray.
Before I moved away from Buffalo, my mom, my sister, and I had a holiday tradition. A couple times a week in December we’d get together for an afternoon at one of our houses.
We’d brew a pot of seasonal tea, sometime like peppermint, apple pie, or gingerbread, and munch on cookies as we chatted.
More often than not (because it’s Buffalo), it was snowing, and we’d usually have Christmas music playing. It was a completely festive, completely beautiful time.
If we were lucky, we’d have a plate of mom’s homemade cookies, something like her Cut Out Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes (that she always called Butter Balls!). But if we were pressed for time we’d buy a box of cookies at Wegmans, usually Gingersnaps because we all loved them.
These Gingersnap Cookies take me back to Buffalo for those snowy, festive holiday afternoons with my mom and sister.
What Do Gingersnap Cookies Taste Like?
These cookies are heavily spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and a few other spices.
Brown sugar sweetens them and adds subtle notes of caramel.
And just like the name says, they have a famously crispy “snap”!
They’re the perfect thing to dunk in a cup of steaming hot tea, Gingerbread Latte, Eggnog Latte, or Peppermint Mocha Latte.
What is the Difference Between Gingersnaps and Molasses Cookies?
Both types of cookies have molasses and warm spices. However, Molasses Cookies are typically soft and chewy, while Gingersnaps are crispy.
The Best Easy Homemade Gingersnaps Recipe
This easy recipe for Gingersnaps is made in one bowl with no fancy equipment needed. And these cookies taste way better than anything that comes out of a box.
Black Pepper in Gingersnap Cookies
Don’t be tempted to skip the black pepper in this recipe. It’s a traditional ingredient in Gingerbread, and it adds just a touch of heat in the back of your palate.
It truly makes these cookies something special.
- Butter – use unsalted here
- Brown sugar – light or dark brown sugar will work, but I usually use light because that’s what I keep on hand
- Molasses – look for blackstrap molasses for deeper, more complex flavor
- Milk – any type of milk will work
- Egg yolk – adds richness to these cookies
- Vanilla – for aroma and to mellow out the spices a little
- Flour – all-purpose flour is perfect for these cookies
- Baking soda – this is our leavening agent
- Salt – to balance the flavor and bring out everything else
- Ginger – this is where most of the spice flavor comes from
- Cinnamon – a lovely warm spice that blends well here
- Nutmeg – a fragrant spice that pairs well with cinnamon
- Cloves – this smells like Christmas
- Black pepper – this is our secret ingredient, don’t skip it
- Granulated sugar – for rolling the cookies
- Melt the butter and let it cool a bit. Whisk together the melted butter and other liquid ingredients.
- Stir in the flour and other dry ingredients. If the dough is difficult to scoop because it’s seems wet, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes before scooping. (Don’t be tempted to add more flour!)
- Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-teaspoon sized balls. Roll each ball in sugar. Arrange the cookie balls on a baking tray, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each.
- Bake until the cookies are golden and look crinkly, about 20 minutes at 315F. While the cookies are hot out of the oven, firmly (and carefully!) press them down with a glass to flatten. Let the cookies cool completely before serving.
How Long do Gingersnaps Last?
These cookies stay fresh for quite a while. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
More Festive Holiday Treats for Your Cookie Tray
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Gingersnap Cookies Recipe (aka Gingersnaps)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/8 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1/2 cup sugar for rolling the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 315F. Line 2 half sheet pans (large baking trays) with parchment paper or silpat liners.
- Whisk together the butter, brown sugar, molasses, milk, egg yolk, and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper until well combined.
- Scoop the cookie dough into 1 1/2-teaspoon sized balls and roll each in sugar.
- Arrange the sugar coated cookie dough balls on the prepared baking trays about 1 1/2 inches apart.
- Bake until the cookies are golden and crinkly looking, about 20 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through.
- As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, use a glass to press down on the top of each cookie to flatten.
- To let the cookies crisp completely, let them cool before serving.
- Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes about 60 small cookies. Each serving is 6 cookies for a total of 10 servings.
- Refrigerate the Dough if Necessary: If the dough is difficult to scoop because it seems too soft or wet, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes before scooping. (Don’t add more flour!)
- Storage: Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on December 10, 2020. I updated it with more information on December 2, 2022.
I absolutely love these cookies! They are the perfect way to launch into the holidays! 🥰😋🦃🧑🎄