With fresh, ground, and candied ginger, this ginger snaps recipe creates thin and crispy cookies that have three times the ginger flavor.
I’m pretty sure the holidays are just an excuse to eat cookies. While I usually leave the cookie baking to others, I've never had a problem helping with the eating part. But ever since last week, when I smashed up a bag of ginger snap cookies to make a crust for a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, I’ve craved some good homemade ginger snaps.
I like my cookies thin and crunchy. I also love ginger. That’s why the ginger snap is my ideal cookie. It’s also not too sweet and if you make them small enough, you can eat a few and not feel too guilty about it. Many of the cookies this time of year are coated in icing, candy, or sprinkles and while I think they're beautiful, they're kind of like eating a handful of sugar. I much prefer the strong flavor and depth of sweetness imparted from molasses. Dunked in milk, it's perfection.
where did ginger snaps come from?
They're a variation of gingerbread cookies, or Lebkuchen, the traditional German cookie. Gingerbread as we know it in the US is usually a softer cookie that comes in various shapes, such as gingerbread people. The ingredients are similar, however.
Are ginger snaps good for you?
That said, there is still sugar in this recipe. In fact, there's white sugar, brown sugar, and molasses. Maybe it's all the ginger, but I like that you taste more than just sugar in these cookies. Does that make them healthy? No way. They're cookies!
Alright, yeah, ginger has some health benefits. It can help with nausea and digestion and potentially lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. But does it make cookies healthy? No. If you want a healthier cookie, I like Heidi Swanson's Carrot Oatmeal Cookies over at 101 Cookbooks.
What's the difference between ginger snaps and molasses cookies?
The problem with most store-bought ginger snaps is that they don’t live up to the name. For starters, they aren’t always crispy. That doesn’t work. For a gingersnap to be a ginger snap there needs to be a snap as you break it in half. Soft ginger snap cookies are actually molasses cookies with the wrong name on the package. I like those just fine, but they’re not the same.
Of course, the other essential component of the ginger snap is the ginger. I find that many store-bought baked goods and really, most baking recipes, go too light with their level of spices. Or maybe I just like my food to have flavor.
Molasses cookies kind of lack both of those things. No snap and not much ginger.
The more ginger, the better
When I sat down to figure out my ideal ginger snaps recipe I realized that I had three types of ginger in my kitchen – ground, fresh and candied – and I decided to add in all three. Each is easy to find in stores, but if for some reason you can’t get your hands on candied ginger you can leave it out and increase the fresh ginger to a tablespoon. Though you'll miss out on the little chewy ginger chunks throughout.
I guess this as good of a time as any to admit that I cheat when it comes to fresh ginger on occasion. Yeah, sometimes I'm lazy. Instead of always peeling and chopping ginger root, I use Ginger People's minced ginger. I keep a jar in the fridge and don't feel like it's inferior in any way. It's organic, tastes great, and is perfect when cooking a quick dinner that needs a spoonful of fresh ginger flavor.Print