Ginger Snaps Recipe | Crispy Gingersnaps - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Christmas | Cookies

Crispy Gingersnaps

By Tessa Arias
  |  
December 17th, 2019
4.93 from 142 votes
4.93 from 142 votes

Classic Crispy Gingersnaps are the perfect Christmas cookie! Thin and crunchy with the perfect amount of molasses and spice, this easy homemade recipe takes 30 minutes to make! Download my favorite Christmas cookie recipes here.

Yield: 28 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The perfect balance of sweet and spice.
Texture: Thin and crispy, these cookies break in half cleanly and have a satisfying crunch to every bite!
Ease: Super simple 30 minute recipe. No chilling required.
Pros: Easy and festive recipe that goes great in every Christmas cookie box.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Yes.

This year I received a handful of requests to publish a recipe for classic traditional gingersnap cookies that are actually crunchy.

Gingersnaps piled on a counter

Gingersnap cookie dough in a mixing bowl

Typically I enjoy more of a chewy cookie, but every once in a while I want that satisfying crunch and crispness of something sweet. I tweaked my Chewy Gingersnap recipe (which are included in my cookbook!) to make them thin and crunchy.

Crispy gingersnaps on a cooling rack

These ginger cookies would also make a great base for ice cream sandwiches! In fact, my best friend Ashley from Baker by Nature sent me ice cream from Salt & Straw, our favorite ice cream shoppe, as an early Christmas gift.

One of the flavors she sent was for Gingerbread Cookie Dough. I’m thinking I have to make ice cream sandwiches with these ginger snaps and that ice cream!!

Of course, they’re also marvelous on their own with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or tea.

How to Make Thin & Crispy Gingersnaps

What are Gingersnaps?

A year-round favorite all over the world, Gingersnaps are particularly popular to welcome in the fall and winter holiday seasons! Gingersnaps are perfectly spiced with the most beautiful cracked, sugary tops. While these are mostly enjoyed during the colder months, I actually love them in the fall in Arizona, when the temps are slowly beginning to drop. They’re delicious with a glass of cold milk or even lemonade… and even better used in place of graham crackers for over-the-top s’mores!

Gingersnaps are just what they sound like: a cookie flavored with ginger (among other spices that we’ll talk more about below). Gingersnaps are typically crunchy or have a brittle texture, thus the “snap”. The spiciness of the ginger and richness of the molasses pairs perfectly with coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or mulled wine.

Ingredients for Gingersnap Cookies:

  • All-purpose flour – Measured accurately! To avoid ending up with Gingersnaps that are thick and chewy instead of perfectly crispy, make sure to measure your flour accurately with a digital scale. More on this below.
  • Baking soda – Interacts with the molasses to encourage spread! This combination also creates those cracks in the dough to develop where moisture escapes, resulting in the beautiful crackled appearance and crunchy texture.
  • Ginger – Be sure to use ground ginger that hasn’t been sitting open in your spice cabinet for years! The fresher the spice the more flavorful it’ll be. While I haven’t tried it, you can also experiment with crystallized ginger, but expect your cookies to be a little more sugary.
  • Cinnamon and Cloves – Along with ginger, this trio is what gives these cookies the classic gingersnap taste! Your home will smell amazing as they are baking. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for even more spice!
  • Fine Sea Salt – Just a bit to enhance all of the other flavors.
  • Butter – Always use unsalted butter in baking so you’re in control of the amount of salt used. Imparts flavor and enhances the gluten structure – this impacts the shape, spread, and texture of your cookies!
  • Granulated Sugar – Encourages spread. Also used as a sugar coating to give a nice texture to the cookies (and beautiful appearance!). In my Crispy Gingersnaps recipe, you’ll notice there’s more granulated sugar than brown sugar as it has less moisture, to make for a crisper cookie.
  • Brown Sugar – Depending on the recipe you choose, you’ll either use light or dark brown sugar! Dark brown sugar is rich in molasses and not only gives the cookie a deep flavor, but adds moisture. This is why it’s used in my Chewy Gingersnaps and not in my Crispy Gingersnaps. Substituting either will make a difference in these recipes.
  • Molasses – Gives gingersnaps their color and distinct flavor. Look for plain, unsulphured molasses. Brer Rabbit or Grandma’s in their ‘mild’ or ‘original’ flavors tend to work best. Stay away from blackstrap as it will impart a very bitter taste!
  • 1 egg – Provides structure and keeps the cookies tender longer after baking than if omitting the egg. Omitting the egg will gradually result in your cookies becoming too hard and crunchy to eat.

How to Make Gingersnap Cookies:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butters and sugar together. Add the molasses and egg. Then, add the remaining dry ingredients to form your flour mixture.
  2. Use a spring-loaded cookie scoop to portion out cookie dough balls.
  3. Roll each cookie dough ball in sugar, then place on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake until crackled at the top, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

What makes cookies crispy and crackled?

A heavy amount of baking soda interacts with the molasses in this recipe to encourage spread. That same process allows cracks in the dough to develop where moisture escapes, creating that beautiful crackled appearance and crunchy texture.

There’s also much more granulated sugar than brown sugar in this recipe. White sugar encourages more spread and has less moisture to make for a crisper cookie.

Lastly, a longer baking time ensures a crunchy texture all the way through the center of these cookies.

Baking tip for crispy cookies: measure your flour correctly!

To avoid ending up with Gingersnaps that are thick and chewy instead of perfectly crispy, make sure to measure your flour accurately with a digital scale. It’s all too easy to accidentally add too much flour if you’re using cups. Check out my article for How to Measure Flour for step-by-step instructions.

Just take a look at what a difference too much flour can make:

Image of a perfect cookie with flour measured correctly vs. an image of a thick, hard, and dense cookie with too much flour

How to make flavorful gingersnaps:

First make sure your spices, especially the ground ginger, are fresh and of high quality. Second, make sure to use unsulphured molasses. Never use blackstrap molasses in baking, it’s extremely bitter. Brer Rabbit or Grandma’s in their ‘mild’ or ‘original’ flavors tend to work best.

If you want more SPICE in your gingersnaps, add a tablespoon or two of freshly grated ginger. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Rolling gingersnap cookie dough in sugar

How to store homemade gingersnaps:

Store the gingersnaps in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days. You can also store in the freezer for up to 1 month.

How to freeze gingersnap cookie dough:

Scoop out the balls of cookie dough. Place on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Remove to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Bake from frozen, reducing the temperature to 325°F and adding a couple minutes onto the baking time.

 

Crunchy gingersnaps on a plate with a glass of milk

More Christmas Cookie Recipes:

4.93 from 142 votes

How to make
Crispy Gingersnaps

Yield: 28 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Classic Crispy Gingersnaps are the perfect Christmas cookie! Thin and crunchy with the perfect amount of molasses and spice, this easy homemade recipe takes 30 minutes to make! Download my favorite Christmas cookie recipes here.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (113 grams) unsulphured molasses (NOT blackstrap)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 1/4 cups (286 grams) all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat the butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the molasses and egg and beat until combined. Add in the salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and flour and beat until combined.

  3. Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow dish. Scoop the dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon balls and roll in the sugar before placing on the baking sheet, leaving plenty of room for spread. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are spread and the surface looks crackled.
  4. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : christmas, ginger, gingersnap cookies

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Debra — February 5, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    I made these cookies a couple of days ago. Fantastic and my husband’s new favorite. Actually, he asked me to bake another batch because this one disappeared too quickly. I followed the recipe and didn’t add or take anything away.
    Thank you!

  2. #
    EJ Williams — January 29, 2023 at 6:45 pm

    These are sooooo good! Crispy and delicious! Reminds me of my grandmother’s house.

  3. #
    JanieLee — January 25, 2023 at 5:12 am

    I am not one to change a recipe because I think I know better than the originator, but necessity requires it sometimes. Used salted butter, & Sorghum for molasses. Best cookie ever! Even my cookie snob grandson loves these (had to coerce to try them). I hate making cookies but honestly, these are worth the time and effort…little of both, actually ☺️

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