Perfect Gingersnaps

I got a mad craving for gingersnaps the other day.

It hit me as soon as I stepped off the bus at the stop on campus: I needed coffee, and more badly than usual (it’s the end of the semester, after all) — but not only that. I needed a sugar fix — not just any sugar fix, but a ginger-sugar fix.

Don’t you ever get those?

Anyways, I wasted time before class by adventuring high and low to find a gingersnap cookie on campus. Everybody was out — even Starbucks!

The happy ending to this story is that, even though I didn’t get a gingersnap cookie rightwhenIwanteditdammit!, in order to satisfy my craving I went home and made a batch of the most wickedest, delicious, well-textured snaps I’ve ever had in my life!

The balance of ginger and spice in these cookies is amazing. They smell like the holidays. They’re a rich shade of cookie-coloured-brown. Their tops sparkle with sugar.

And did I mention that they’re the perfect harmony between chewy and crunchy? They are.

What more could you want from a cookie?

I’ve used rum extract in these cookies, but if you don’t have it, then I’m sure that vanilla extract will do just fine.

Perfect Gingersnaps

*adapted from


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup fancy molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated orange zest
  • cinnamon and white sugar, for coating cookies


Preheat your oven to 350°F (or 175°C). Grease a cookie sheet, or line it with parchment paper.

Sift together your flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, cream your shortening for a couple seconds, just until it looks smooth. Mix in your sugar and beat together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg.

Add the molasses, beat well to incorporate. Next, add the fresh grated orange rind and rum extract — if you don’t have rum extract then vanilla would be the next best extract to use.

Beat the wet ingredients again, taking care to make sure that the batter is one, even colour before slowly adding your flour and spice mixture.


Mix gently until all the dry flour disappears and everything is incorporated.

Prepare a small amount of sugar coating by mixing white sugar with a dash or two of cinnamon.

Pinch off pieces of the dough in the bowl, and then form those pieces into 2cm (1 inch) diameter gingersnap balls by rolling the batter between your palms.

Coat one side of the dough balls in cinnamon-sugar, then place on a cookie sheet, sugar-side up, spacing the cookies about 4 cm (2 inches) apart — leave room, since these lil’ guys tend to spread a fair bit while baking (scroll up a bit to see what a baked cookie looks like).

Press down on the top of the dough balls with your palm, flattening them slightly.

Bake at 350°F for 9 ~ 11 minutes, removing the cookies from the oven at the first sign of browning around the edges.

Makes about 2 dozen perfect gingersnap cookies. Yum!

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One thought on “Perfect Gingersnaps

  1. I will definitely use this recipe for my Christmas gingerbread cookie recipe. I’ve already decided to use you as my recipe book, lol. How do you do it? How do you cook so much–and such fine, nuanced recipes–which challenge the palette? And yet they’re always so hearty.

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