One of my grandmother’s legacies to me is a love everything ginger. Ever since I was a child, I would eat anything ginger that she pressed into my hands: ginger marmalade, candies, crystalized ginger, chocolate covered ginger … and gingersnaps.
I ate it all … I adored it all. And I ate it all year-round.
It’s not a surprise, then, that one of the first cookies I tackled and grew to master as an adult was the ubiquitous gingersnap. My quest the whole way was a gingersnap that was spicy with ginger and which remained ‘chewy’ because, unlike my grandmother, I preferred little to no ‘snap’ in my gingersnap.
While I’m not quite ready to part with my pumpkin pie recipe, my gingersnaps is a recipe that I’ve similarly continued to tweak over two decades before arriving at what I think is ‘perfection.’
What makes this cookie so perfect by my own estimation? Triple ginger: ginger powder, full-bodied, slightly bitter, and spicy; candied ginger, sweet, toothy and chewy, and a bit spicy; and freshly grated ginger, sweet, subtle, and integrated in its flavour profile. As a result, the ginger in these cookies is present and layered, grabs the palette at numerous points, and lasts throughout. This is indeed a ginger cookie for ginger fools.
My other cooking tip to making this cookie what it is: molasses. This is the key to the chewiness I love and which makes this a cookie for adult palettes.
Finally, yes, this is a gluten-free recipe. My own and previous version was comfortably filled with wheat flour but, buoyed by my recent success with my pie crust, I decided to tempt fate and see if I could successfully transition my recipe into one which was gluten-free. The answer is a resounding YES … in fact, it might even be better. However, if you’re not into doing this gluten-free, simply substitute the four flours below and use 2½ cups pastry flour.
Prep time: 30-40 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes x2
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Triple Ginger Snaps ~ Gluten-Free
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 3/4 cup tapioca flour
- 3/4 chickpea flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
= (for best results — substitute 2½ cups pastry flour for all the above)
or 300g all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 3/4 cup (185g) butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped
+ 1 teaspoon candied/crystallized ginger coarsely chopped (decoration)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Finely chop the candied ginger and set aside. Peel the fresh ginger, and using a rasp (aka “microplane” grater) to finely grate the fresh ginger. Set it aside as well.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the first 9 dry-ingredients (brown rice flour through to xanthan gum) and set aside.
- In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.
Beat in the egg.
Add the ginger …
… and add molasses and beat till smooth.
Beating on low, slowly spoon in the sifted dry ingredients ….
and beat until everything is well-incorporated.
Adjust if necessary by adding another tablespoon at a time of coconut flour. You will have the right consistency when batter is ‘wet’ but dry enough that you can handle it with your hands … without it sticking all to your hands.
- Spoon out roughly a tablespoon of the batter at a time and rolling it between your palms, form balls and place them on the parchment lined baking sheets, leaving 2-inches between balls to allow them to spread.
Flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand, the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup.
Tip: if batter sticks, wet the tool you’re using with a tiny bit of cold water and just dab up any wetness on the cookies.
Optional, decorate the cookies at this point with chunk of candied ginger …
… and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place one baking sheet at a time into the oven and bake on middle rack for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be done once cookies spread, the top starts to ‘crack’ in typical fashion, and tops are lightly ‘firm’ to the touch.
… the longer you bake them, the crispier they’ll get. Just be sure you don’t burn the bottoms, but, otherwise cook them to your own taste and enjoy!