Two things have confused me about the name Gingersnap: why are they called “ginger” when it’s the dark molasses that gives most of the flavor, and why “snap” when they are so soft and chewy? Turns out…not all gingersnaps are the same! I found I’m actually in the minority for loving a soft cookie. There are some die-hard “if they don’t snap they’re not gingersnaps!” folk out there. There are also some ginger fanatics who grate fresh ginger or even use diced ginger in their cookies to get a more intense, spicy ginger flavor. I, on the other hand, lean towards using more molasses to enhance the flavor.
Now I’m starting to worry. Are these cookies I’ve called gingersnaps my whole life not actually gingersnaps!? Should they really be called “Chewy Molasses Cookies” or something to that extent? I do come from a family with conflicting recipe names after all — my mom grew up calling sopapillas…scones, which are two very different things! And from completely different countries for that matter (drives my dad bonkers!).
But you know what? I don’t really care what these cookies are called. They are chewy and delicious and I probably would’ve eaten the entire batch if I hadn’t promised some to a friend. The molasses keeps the cookies moist, the ginger gives a hint of spice, and the sugar-coating makes them juuuust sweet enough.
If you’re hoping for a snappy crisp cookie…that isn’t what you’ll get. But don’t let that deter you. These cookies scream winter (if cookies could talk) and baking them makes your entire house smell like the holidays. Speaking of holidays, I’m definitely asking Santa for some Silpat mats! Maybe if I leave a tray of these gingersnaps I’ll get them…
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup dark molasses
- 1 beaten egg
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 cup sugar (for rolling)
- Cream shortening and sugar together. Add molasses and egg. Beat well
- Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add to sugar mixture.
- Refrigerate about 1 hour
- Form dough into small balls and roll in sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes (cook up to 12 mins for a crisper cookie)
- Let cool on wire rack then store in an airtight container