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 can be 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 could also be 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 follow the substitution ingredients below with 2½ cups pastry flour for the four flours & xanthan gum below. The pastry flour is key to ‘tender’ cookie which will break, not snap.
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
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
→ Or substitute 2½ cups (350g) pastry flour for the above ingredients
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (120g) 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.
Tip: Set the dough in the fridge or, if you’re in a Canadian winter, outdoors, for 15-30 minutes to ‘chill’ and make the rolling a bit easier and less sticky.
- 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. Or, better yet, dab the bottom of the glass on a plate of white sugar between presses to keep it from sticking and to impart natural sparkles to 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!