I love crunchy ginger cookies but tend to jump from recipe to recipe and half the new recipes I try end up being chewy. Today, rather than focus on a new ginger cookie, I decided to try one of my old favorites but with a few changes.
My favorite gingersnap 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.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cups 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
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Have ready two ungreased heavy duty baking sheets.
- In a medium size saucepan, melt the butter over medium and continue cooking just until it starts to turn brown. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, thoroughly stir the flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, black pepper and cayenne together in a mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and stir well to make a uniform dry mixture. Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg, molasses and lemon. 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. Add the melted browned butter and stir to make dough. It should be thick and kind of oily. 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.