This recipe for Gingersnap Cookies has been in my family for 100 years and was passed down to me from my Grandmother Hughena McFeeters. It is soft, chewy and full of that ginger molasses flavour gingersnaps are famous for. This recipe has been coveted and never ever shared … till now!
I am actually torn about sharing this recipe to be honest because I have held this recipe for gingersnap cookies so close to my heart for so many years. I think at one point I said to my son the only way his wife will ever get this recipe is if I “like” her.
Joking of course… or was I?
One of my best memories of my Grandmother was years ago when I visited her to bake. We planned a day to spend together so she could teach me all of her best baking recipes and share with me hands-on all of her tips and tricks. When I arrived, she gave me recipe cards with her recipes all written out for me. It must have taken her all week to prepare. I am honoured, to say the least.
It was a very special day for me and I think her as well. To be honest thinking of this day brings a tear to my eye because I was so lucky to spend time with her learning all of her tips and tricks.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Pastry flour – Pastry flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour creating a lighter cookie. I personally always used pastry flour for my cookies. In this recipe, pastry flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour.
- Granulated sugar – Plain old white sugar.
- Vegetable oil – Creates a crumbly cookie. I have used safflower oil as well with success.
- Molasses – Fancy molasses is best with it’s sweeter lighter flavour but cooking molasses works fine as well in this recipe. Avoid using blackstrap molasses as it is heavier and tends to have a slightly bitter flavour.
- Egg – The glue that holds most baking together.
- Salt – Intensifies the flavour of cookies but also works with the gluten protein making a less sticky batter.
- Baking soda – Don’t mess with the ratios with this ingredient. In this recipe, too little baking soda will create a cakey bland cookie, too little a hard as a rock cookie. The amount in this recipe creates crunchy crispy edges and a slightly chewy but not cakey centre.
- Ginger – Ground ginger. Some people who are ginger fanatics have told me they have doubled the ginger in this recipe so if you are a huge ginger fan…give it a try!
- Cinnamon – Ground cinnamon.
how to make gingersnaps
Preheat over to 350F. In a large bowl mix together the sugar and vegetable oil.
Add the egg and molasses and mix well until it starts to become a little more solid pulling away from the edges of the bowl as you mix.
Place a sieve over the large bowl and add the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon. Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture and continue until the dry ingredients have fallen through the sieve.
Mix the sieved dry ingredients into the molasses mixture. Do not overmix.
If the dough is really sticky and impossible to roll into a ball then cover and let the dough chill in the fridge for about a half hour.
Roll a rounded teaspoon of cookie batter in a small bowl of sugar until the cookie is covered. Place the cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. These cookies will spread so be sure to not space them too close together.
Bake for 10 minutes or until flat and the appearance of cracking on the top. Remove from the oven and let rest on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips & Tricks
- Use vegetable oil. This has a big effect on the texture of the cookie. I have used canola oil before but the cookies tend to end up a little crunchier. Safflower oil is a good substitution.
- Proper measuring for this recipe is essential. For the oil, molasses and really any liquid use a glass measuring cup you can pour from. I use glass cups with the measurements on the side. Using a glass cup allows you to get to eye level and see that the liquid measurement is level and exact.
- For the dry ingredients, use metal or plastic measuring cups that are level along the top. Scoop the dry ingredients in and use the handle of a knife or spoon to sweep across the top to make sure you have a level and even measurement. Again baking is a science and exact measurements matter.
- I like to use Pastry flour for GingerSnaps and many other cookies because it is a finer flour that makes cookies and baked goods lighter and fluffier.
- When adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients I like to use a large sieve that can rest on top of the large mixing bowl. Lie the sieve on top of the wet ingredient bowl and add all the dry ingredients on top. Then gently stir the dry ingredients through the sieve and into the wet. This way you know all the spices are combined evenly and there will not be any flour clumps.
- For crispy gingersnap cookies take the cookies out a minute later. It’s that easy!
how long will gingersnaps Last?
Not long because they are so good this has never been an issue in my house. But in all seriousness, if you store them in a sealed container they will be good for up to 3-4 days on the counter.
Can you freeze Gingersnaps?
Absolutely! In fact, this is what I do often so we don’t eat them all at once. Just put them in a resealable freezer container and they will freeze well for up to 3 months. Make sure to let them thaw before biting into them or you may crack a tooth. They get very hard when frozen.
Update… these Skor Shortbread Meltaway Cookies are now a contender for best cookie according to Zach!
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The Best Recipe For Gingersnap Cookies
- Large Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large Sieve
- Spoon or Fork
- Baking Sheet
- Small Bowl
- 2 cups pastry flour
- 1 1/2 cup white sugar divided 1 cup for batter, 1/2 cup to roll balls into
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large bowl mix oil and 1 cup sugar until well combined
- Add egg and molasses and mix until thick
- Place a large sieve over the bowl and flour, baking soda, spices and salt and sift into molasses batter
- Mix the flour mixture into molasses batter with fork JUST until combined
- Place batter in the fridge for 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Roll batter into 1 inch balls and then roll in remaining 1/2 cup sugar to lightly coat
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until flattened and set but not hard. Do not overbake.
- Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool.