Ginger snaps are more of a holiday cookie, but I love the way the kitchen smells after baking them. The recipe below is from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food. You can adjust the spices to suit your taste. I like to add a pinch of ground cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.
280 g flour
1½ tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
150 g butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
130 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
80 g mild-flavored or light molasses
1 large egg, at room temperature
Coarse sugar crystals for coating the cookies
- Stir together the dry ingredients.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn to medium-low speed and cream the butter, warming the bowl if needed. Add the sugar and mix for 3 to 4 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Stir in the vanilla, molasses, and egg.
- Mix in the dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth. Don’t over mix, but make sure they are completely incorporated.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 2 logs 1½ inches in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Slice cookie dough into ¼-inch rounds with a sharp knife. Dip one side and press firmly in a bowl of coarse sugar if you want, and place sugar-side up on baking sheet, evenly-spaced apart.
- Bake cookies at 350°F, rotating sheets halfway through, for about 10 to 14 minutes. Bake on the lower end of the range for softer cookies.
- Let the cookies cool for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove them with a spatula and transfer to a cooling rack.