English Gingersnaps is one of my favorite Maida Heatter recipes. In her Great Cookies book, she has two versions. There's English Gingersnaps Number 1 and English Gingersnaps #2. I prefer Number 2 because the cookies are 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.
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (9 ½ oz)
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt (generous)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ 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.