Gingersnaps — Spicy and Crunchy

I love crunchy gingersnaps but tend to jump from recipe to recipe, and half the new recipes I try end up being chewy. Today, rather than try a new gingersnaps recipe, I decided to try one of my old favorites but with a few changes.


My favorite gingersnaps recipe is based on “English Gingersnaps #2” in Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies. I always use more ginger and I sometimes swap out some of the butter for shortening. However, tipped off by a magazine article saying browned butter could make gingersnaps crisper and crunchier, I made a new batch using that. The cookies were nice and crunchy and as a bonus, I didn’t have to pull out the electric mixer.

This is a relatively small batch recipe and should give you 32 gingersnaps.

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Recipe for crunchy gingersnaps.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 32
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour (4.8 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mild molasses
  • 2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • granulated sugar for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Have ready two ungreased heavy duty baking sheets.
  2. In a medium size saucepan, melt the butter over medium and continue cooking just until it starts to turn brown -- swirl often to keep it from burning. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, thoroughly stir the flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, black pepper and cayenne together in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the brown sugar and stir well to make a uniform dry mixture.
  5. Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg, molasses and lemon zest. With a fork or a whisk, mix the egg and the molasses together in the little hole, then use a mixing spoon and stir them into the flour.
  6. Add the melted browned butter and stir to make dough. It should be thick and kind of oily.
  7. Using a rounded teaspoon, shape dough into small balls – you should get about 32 total, so be careful not to make them too big. Roll the balls in sugar, arrange on baking sheet spacing about 2 inches apart, and bake one sheet at a time for 8 to 10 minutes at 350F. Dough should spread and crack. When cookies appear done, remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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  1. says

    So with knowing browned butter makes them crispier, is that true for any cookie with browned butter?

    I always think I don’t like gingersnaps, then when I have a few, I love them. Though I do prefer chewy ones.

  2. Louise says

    I love ginger cookies and prefer chewy ones. I think I replace my ground ginger every time I bake ginger cookies just to assure it has the proper edge.

  3. says

    I like gingersnaps both ways! I think I saw that same article but haven’t read it yet I feel like I just got the Clif notes version. 😉 Thanks!
    I’ll definitely be trying these. The list of things to try is getting really long again! This fall has been so incredibly busy!!! Almost no time to bake anything other than staples!!!!

  4. says

    Hey Lisa! Thanks for stopping by.

    Louise, a lot of people like chewy which is probably why there are so many great chewy recipes out there.

    Sue, my cookie is really different. That article offers at least four major tips and the recipe is completely different. Let me know if you try that one. Hope you get a chance to relax and do some fun baking.

  5. says

    I made these and we love them. They’re dangerously addictive! I’m sending the rest to my daughter who needs a little pick me up and will appreciate the little bit of warmth from the cayenne.
    When I get around to making those other cookies I’ll let you know how they turn out.

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