English Gingersnaps

I was so busy complaining about peach pie yesterday that I forgot to say this:

Happy Birthday Maida Heatter!

In honor of Maida’s (belated) birthday, I am going to order one of her books off Amazon and bake a batch of Maida inspired cookies.

In her Great Cookies book, Maida has quite a few recipes for ginger cookies. My favorite is English Gingersnaps Number 2. There’s also an English Gingersnaps Number 1, but I prefer Number 2 because it’s thinner, crunchier and more gingery. In other words, my kind of spice cookie.

Below is my adapted version of Maida’s English Gingersnaps Number 2. Maida adds orange peel to hers, but I usually leave that out and just use lemon.

Here’s a photo of the cookies piling out of a bucket.

English Gingersnaps

English Gingersnaps

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (9 ½ oz)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (generous)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup mild molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Thoroughly stir together flour, soda and salt. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and black pepper.

Cream butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy; beat in the molasses and egg, then beat in the lemon zest.

By hand, stir in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Chill the dough for about 20 minutes or until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop up rounded teaspoonfuls of dough and shape into small balls. Roll tops in sparkly sugar. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool & crisp on a rack.

Makes about 60 cookies

Tip: Un-insulated cookie sheet made crunchier cookies.

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  1. KAnn says

    Great Cookies was one of my first cookbooks…I received it as a holiday gift from my college boyfriend in 1978…oh, how the years go by! I made the cream cheese brownies as I recall. I love all my Maida Heatter books…happy birthday, Maida!

  2. maris says

    These cookies look great but what I love even more is the adorable pail they are in! They’d make a great gift 🙂

  3. Karen says

    Maida Heatter is my absolute favorite. I have all her books (other than the compilations) and have made dozens of her recipes over the years. I hope to make the September 7 cake in her honor sometime before the end of the month.

  4. Janet says

    I am way behind on reading your blogs….busy times here….company coming and cleaning, etc. Anyway, I made some lemonade cookies recently and threw the recipe in the trash…the dough was too soft and the cookies fell apart. I refrigerated it and then right before baking, I added 1/4 cup flour to the remaining dough…they turned out well! In fact a friend raved so much about them that I had to pull the recipe out of the trash!!! Thanks for all these recipes to try!!!

  5. says


    I am new to your blog – amazed by your amazing recipe collection and stunning photography! Spent the last few hours catching up on your archives. I am a sucker for beautiful pictures…..


  6. Therese B. says

    I love gingersnaps!! Oh…what a great cookie for fall baking! Great scent in the kitchen!!

    Anna…I have to bake desserts for a bridal shower this weekend…have you ever made homemade tiramsu???? We are going with an italian theme….I have a cheesecake….cannoli…but I have my mind bent on making tiramus….any suggestions?

  7. says

    Therese, I love tiramisu. Usually I make White Russian Tiramisu from Cooking Light, but for a special occasion, I’ve been meaning to try this one.

    Basic Tiramisu

    2-3 cups very strong coffee
    3 tablespoons Kahlua
    2 eggs, separated
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    9 oz mascarpone cheese
    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    9 oz ladyfingers (savoiardi)
    cocoa powder, for dusting

    Have ready a rectangular glass pan (probably 13×9 or 12×8) — I need to test this part.

    Combine egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl; beat until pale and thick. Add mascarpone and continue beating. Set aside.

    Whip the cream until stiff peaks hold, and fold gently into the egg mixture.

    Beat the egg whites to soft peaks in a perfectly clean metal bowl. Fold whipped egg whites into cheese mixture.

    Combine the coffee and Kahlua in a bowl big enough to fit a ladyfinger. Quickly dip each ladyfinger in the coffee mixture and lay dipped ladyfingers along bottom of dish to cover. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top.Repeat with remaining biscuits and mascarpone, finishing with a creamy layer. Dust with cocoa.

    This is adapted from a popular recipe on Recipezaar.

  8. Therese B. says

    Hi Anna!

    You rock….! Have you ever made homemade ladyfingers? I found a recipe from my most cherished Southern Living recipe book. They don’t look all too difficult to make. Would it be easier to purchase ladyfingers?

    Tiramisu…oh…don’t you just love it!!!??!!!

  9. says

    Had to check out this recipe after reading Jessica’s comments this morning. These don’t have crinkles! And the ratio of baking soda to flour is very similar to the Statesman contest gingersnaps. Interesting.

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