Right around the time that fall hits, it seems our tastes change. We long for those comforting foods– you know, the ones with all the butter and cream? Haha. And also the ones filled with warm spices.
These gingersnaps from my grandma’s recipe box fit the bill perfectly. In my family, these have always been called “gingersnaps,” but the truth is that there isn’t anything “snappy” about these cookies. These are soft and chewy and filled with molasses. They’re just plain delicious. A cookie by any other name, right?
This is the recipe I was working off of. Pretty minimalist, right? That’s how all my grandma’s recipes are, and I’m usually left filling in the details myself and hoping they’re right.
You start by creaming the butter (I don’t use margarine) with baking soda, and then you add an entire jar of molasses. I used Grandma’s molasses, as you can see. It seems appropriate, but honestly it’s not my usual brand. I usually use the Brer Rabbit kind but the grocery store I went to didn’t have it.
Then you’ll mix in the sugar and the eggs, then the spices.
When those are all mixed together, the batter will be very loose.
At this point I decided to spice things up even further by adding about a teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated.
Then you’ll need to add enough flour until you’re able to roll it into balls. The recipe says 5-6 cups, but I needed a bit more because my dough was fairly sticky.
I used a cookie scoop to portion out my dough, then rolled them in sugar.
Ready to bake! I personally think they’re best if baked just until set, but they’ll still be good if you bake them until the center is firmer.
These cookies are so delicious, although mine turned out a bit blonder that my grandma’s. I’m not sure if that’s because I had to add extra flour, or if maybe Grandma molasses is a little lighter than the kind she uses? In any case, the flavor didn’t suffer in the least.
The bonus is that these cookies stay soft and chewy for days. And this recipe makes a lot. Like, A LOT. I think I got somewhere in the range of 6-7 dozen. That makes them perfect for sharing! They also freeze perfectly, so I froze half the batch for later. I’m usually one who likes to switch up my dessert-game pretty frequently and sometimes get sick of the same cookies before we’ve finished a batch, but with these we ate them every night until they were gone– including the ones I’d frozen. Haha.
And now I’m thinking that this would be a great recipe base with which to amp things up a little– maybe adding some crystalized ginger and using the stronger-flavored blackstrap molasses. And maybe some bourbon. You can never go wrong in adding bourbon, I’m pretty sure.
1 cup butter, softened
6 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups molasses (12oz jar)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh ginger, ground (optional)
5-6 cups flour
sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 350º. Add ingredients in the order listed. Before flour is added, batter will be loose. Add 5 cups of the flour, then add more just until the dough is able to be rolled. Roll approximately 1 Tbsp-sized balls of dough in sugar, then place on a baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set on the outside but still soft in the middle. Cool on sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
To freeze: cool completely, then layer with parchment or wax paper in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.