3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (105 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) white granulated sugar
1/4 cup (80 grams) unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground cloves
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
Gingersnap Cookies: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add to the butter mixture and mix until well combined. Cover and chill the batter for about 30 - 60 minutes or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place about 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar in a medium sized bowl. When the batter has chilled sufficiently, roll into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Roll each ball of dough into the sugar, coating it thoroughly. Place on the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Then, with the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies slightly. For a cookie with crisp edges and a soft and chewy center, bake for about 12 minutes. (The longer the cookies bake, the more crisp they will be.) Cool on a wire rack. Can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for about five days.
Makes about 40 cookies.
Gingersnap Cookies are a highly addictive, sugar coated cookie that gets its chewy texture and spicy flavor from adding brown sugar, molasses, and ground spices (cinnamon, ginger and cloves) to the batter. The longer you bake Gingersnaps, the more crispy they become, and while these are perfect with coffee, kids love this American favorite with a tall glass of milk.
There are differences of opinion as to how 'spicy' a Gingersnap Cookie should be, and for that very reason I will tell you how to adjust the batter to suit your own individual taste. The first thing you must do is to make sure you check your ground spices to see if they are still fresh, as stale spices will definitely make your gingersnaps 'flat' tasting. With that being said, one way to increase spiciness is to add, along with the other spices, a 1/4 teaspoon of white or black ground pepper or a 1/4 cup of finely diced crystallized ginger (which you can buy in small tins at specialty food stores or in bulk form from the health food store). There are two types of molasses generally used in baking; light and dark. While I have used light molasses in this recipe, if you want a cookie with a more robust flavor, try using the dark molasses. Light molasses comes from the first boiling of the sugar syrup and is lighter in flavor and color than the dark molasses which comes from the second boiling. Molasses is usually labeled as "sulphured" or "unsulphured" depending on whether sulphur was used in the processing. I prefer the unsulphured molasses which is lighter in color and tends to have a nicer flavor. By the way, molasses is used in baked goods, not only for flavor, but also for color and moistness. Also, because molasses does stick to your measuring cup, it is a good idea to lightly spray your measuring cup with a nonstick vegetable spray before pouring in the molasses.