Ginger Snaps

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

    1. Stir together the dry ingredients.
    2. 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.
    3. Stir in the vanilla, molasses, and egg.
    4. Mix in the dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth. Don’t over mix, but make sure they are completely incorporated.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Let the cookies cool for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove them with a spatula and transfer to a cooling rack.