I’m a sucker for Gingersnaps in all forms – warm and homemade, or crunchy crispy straight out of a bag from the grocery store. But these are my favorite, mostly because my mom discovered that doubling the ginger the recipe originally called for makes them extra spicy and delicious. They’re soft and chewy, and after being coated in sugar they kind of sparkle – a perfect cookie to make around Christmastime!
The original hand-written recipe in our Cooking Notebook includes a 6x version that we make for our family Christmas Party each year, complete with chicken scratched fractions and inverse proportions. I’ve included the 6x recipe at the end too, to spare you from the headache of doing the math just in case you feel like feeding an army.
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar, plus more sugar for dusting dough balls
¼ cup molasses
1 large egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets with butter or olive oil and set aside. Also prepare and set aside a small bowl filled with a big handful of sugar.
Here’s the secret to all Eastman cookies: If you cheat on this, your cookies won’t be as wonderful. Cream your butter (which means beat it on the “high” setting) in an electric stand mixer for 5 minutes with the paddle attachment. Then add your sugar and cream for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture should look very light, fluffy, and creamy.
Scraping down the sides of the bowl, add molasses and egg and mix until evenly combined. Then add dry ingredients and mix until completely incorporated, but do not overbeat. Overbeating your batter at this stage will develop the gluten in the flour, making your cookies tough and dense. Beat the batter on low just until everything is smooth.
Roll spoonfuls of dough between your palms to create evenly sized (about 1 inch in diameter) dough balls. Roll each dough ball in your prepared bowl of sugar until it is completely coated. Arrange the sugared dough balls on cookie sheets, 3 across and 4 down, and bake for 6 – 8 minutes. You want to make sure not to over-bake them since they’re best when they’re soft and chewy. Remember that they’ll continue to bake a bit while they’re cooling on the cookie sheets, so if they still look a little puffy and slightly underdone when you take them out of the oven, that’s ok.
Finally, stack them up and serve them warm or cooled!
Yield: About 24 cookies
4 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cups white sugar, plus more sugar for dusting dough balls
1 ½ cups molasses
6 large eggs
4 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
13 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Yield: About 150 cookies