This gingersnap recipe makes the perfect Christmas cookies. Not only are they full of spicy ginger flavor and warm spices, but they've also got plenty of that classic, old fashioned ginger snap cookies exterior with a chewy middle. They go great with an ice-cold glass of milk, a mug of hot chocolate, or hot cup of coffee or tea.
Welcome to my holiday series 12 Days of Decadence! For twelve days straight, we'll have 12 holiday recipes that focus on one thing: absolute decadence! From desserts, to rich dinners, to luxurious cocktails, we're enjoying all things decadent! Happy Holidays!
My mama used to buy ginger snap cookies in a big brown bag when I was a little girl: those murray old fashioned ginger snaps cookies. Crispy and crunchy, they were one of my all time favorite cookies, even though she rarely brought them around (she probably hid them from me, honestly. I ate way too many of them).
As an adult, I make my own especially during the holiday season since these make really great gifts! These old fashioned ginger cookies have a crispy exterior, chewy middles, and are
So next time you're looking for the perfect gingersnap cookie recipe for your christmas cookie platter or hunting down that familiar brown bag, you'll love these irresistible cookies.
This post may contain Affiliate Links. Please see my Full Disclosure Policy for more details.
Wire Rack - a must for all baking projects, since it gives your baked goods 360 degrees of air exposure to cool down.
Full ingredients, measurements, and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
The ingredients are super important if you want snappy old-fashioned gingersnaps.:
Vegetable Shortening. Butter will give you a chewy cookie, shortening gives us that snap since there's no water in it.
Unsulphured Molasses. Molasses is what gives ginger cookies that rich flavor underneath the spiciness of the ginger. Do not use blackstrap molasses, it's really bitter.
A large egg. Room temperature eggs will give the most consistent results since they won't mess with the baking time.
Ground Ginger. We're using a heaping tablespoon (15 grams) of ginger, which gives a great spice to your gingersnaps. If you don't want a lot of ginger spice, use 2 teaspoons instead.
Cinnamon and Nutmeg. These give the cookies a well-balanced flavor. Make sure you use freshly grated nutmeg if you can find it. I buy my whole nutmeg online here.
Black Pepper. Want that spicy kick that really hits the taste buds? Adding freshly ground black pepper does that for you without altering the flavor of your gingersnaps.
Turbinado Sugar. We roll the gingersnaps in a mix of white sugar and turbinado sugar. Turbinado sugar, also called raw sugar in the stores, is coarser than granulated sugar and adds great crunch and sparkle to the cookies, but it's optional if you can't find it.
So to make the gingersnaps we are going to cream the shortening and sugar together. Creaming sugar and fat together isn't just to mix them together, but to aerate the fat, in this case, shortening.
Sugar helps this process, and creaming the fat and sugar together actually gives you more cookies. So don't miss this step, or you'll miss out on cookies.
Stir in the molasses (careful, it can get messy), vanilla, and the egg.
In a separate bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, spices) then add the flour mixture in batches to the bowl of wet ingredients.
I put about a third of the flour mix into the wet ingredients and mix in well with a rubber spatula before adding the next third of dry ingredients.
Chill the dough for an hour. Chilling the dough lets the flour get hydrated by the wet ingredients, giving the cookies a stronger flavor, making them more tender, and giving them a better shape and spreading less during baking.
After chilling, scoop the dough into small balls with a cookie scoop, then roll them in a mix of granulated and turbinado sugar. This helps the outside have more crispness and adds crunch.
Look at all that sugar. So pretty.
Bake these babies in a 350 degree F oven (180 degrees C) for 13 minutes on your prepared baking sheet, let them cool for five minutes on the pan, then use a spatula to move them to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes to cool completely. They will be at supreme crispness once completely cooled.
Do not use blackstrap molasses. It's very bitter!
Making snappy gingersnaps is easy. Keeping them snappy is not if you're not careful. If you keep them exposed, they'll soften up.
Don't make gingersnaps on a rainy or really hot day, they won't be crisp. Blame the humidity. A cool day is ideal.
Keep the cooled gingersnaps in an airtight container (like those good cookie jars!) to keep them snappy. Otherwise they'll soften up.
Gingersnaps can be traced back to the European Middle Ages when ginger made it from Asia to Europe, either in Germany or near Germany. As time went on, they were brought to the US by English colonizers.
Gingersnaps were made solely with molasses, which was cheaper and easier to obtain than white granulated sugar, but even with the recipe changes molasses stayed an ingredient. Molasses gives a rich, earthy-sweet flavor and that classic brown-orange color.
Nothing is better than a cookie right when you need it right? Freeze your gingersnaps in a freezer-safe, zip-top bag for up to 6 months. You can also freeze the unbaked dough on a baking sheet then put them into the freezer-safe zip-top bag to bake whenever needed.
More Holiday Cookies:
- Santa's Favorite Cookies
- Southern Pecan Praline Cookies
- Magnolia Table Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Christmas Cut Out Soft Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Click here to subscribe SWEET TEA & THYME’S NEWSLETTER for free and fresh recipes right into your inbox!
To pin this recipe and save it for later you can use the Pin button on the recipe card, the sharing buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above.
Tag me @sweet_tea_thyme on Instagram to share your remakes with me, I love looking through your photos!
And don't forget to leave a star rating and comment on the recipe card.
- ¾ cup (150 g) vegetable shortening
- 1 cup (190 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (165 g) unsulphured molasses
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2⅓ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon (10 g) baking soda
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon (10 g) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ½ teaspoon pre-ground nutmeg)
- ½ cup (95 g) sugar to roll dough in
- ¼ cup (48 g) turbinado sugar, to roll dough in
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream shortening and sugar for about 3 minutes.
- Add molasses, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix again until everything is combined.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, ground ginger, ground black pepper, ground cinnamon, and the grated nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in batches (I did about a third of the dry ingredients at a time, mixing in well after each addition).
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill the gingersnap dough in your refrigerator for at least 1 hour up to overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees C).
- Mix turbinado sugar and the ½ cup of granulated sugar together on a large plate.
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out dough and roll gently into balls. Roll the cookie dough in the sugar on the plate until fully coated in sugar.
- Place each sugar-coated cookie ball 2 inches apart on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees C (180 degrees C) for 6 minutes, turn the baking sheets 180 degrees for even baking, then bake for another 6-7 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring to a wire cooling rack to completely cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Keep in an airtight container to keep the gingersnaps snappy for 3-5 days. They will soften the older they are.
Pro Tip: Freezing Cookies and Dough
Freeze your gingersnaps in a freezer-safe, zip-top bag for up to 6 months. You can also freeze the unbaked dough on a baking sheet then put them into the freezer-safe zip-top bag to bake whenever needed.
Want chewy gingersnaps? Leave them in a cookie jar or other not-air-tight container. They'll be soft in a few hours.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Sweet Tea and Thyme!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 75mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.