I love crunchy gingersnaps but tend to jump from recipe to recipe, and many end up being chewy. Today, rather than try a new gingersnaps recipe, I made one of my old favorites but with a few changes.
English Gingersnaps #2
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 browned butter gingersnaps 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 (84 grams)
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour (107 grams)
- 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 (100 grams)
- 2 tablespoons mild molasses (40 grams)
- 2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg (24 grams)
- 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 — swirl often to keep it from burning. 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 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.
- 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.