When it comes to cookies, I prefer classic cookies. As a younger cook, I made a multitude of cookies around the holidays. Some classic, some fancy, some labor intensive! I endeavored to make the perfect cookie gift tray to share with neighbors and friends. However, we all tend to be overrun with treats, especially during the holiday season. As I got older, I found it best to stick to my favorite holiday cookie and the classic cookies that best represent the holidays to me. By far my favorite is an old fashioned ginger snap cookies! This is the absolute best ginger snaps recipe and my go to for not only holiday cookies but any time of the year!
History of the Ginger Snap
Gingersnaps were widely popular during colonial times. These molasses cookies were a sweet treat that used the more economical molasses rather than white sugar. Like many American traditions, ginger snap cookies originated from Europe and are very similar to Lebkuchen, a popular German cookie. Classic gingersnaps were made primarily with butter, molasses and flour.
Ginger snaps became a popular cookie served on Muster Day, also known as Militia Day. Muster Day was a patriotic celebration where new recruits “muster” up the courage to join the local militia to serve their country. The entire community celebrated their bravery with treats for the new trainees.
The Best Ginger Snaps Recipe Characteristics
The perfect gingersnap cookies have a crisp texture on the outside, but a chewy texture on the inside. However, you can adjust the crispness of the cookies by adjusting the baking time. A shorter baking time will produce a chewy cookie while a longer cooking time will produce a crisper cookie. The rich ginger flavors and spices make this a delicious treat!
Necessary Baking Tools
As with any project, the right tools make the job easiest to accomplish. While you can certainly mix your cookies my hand, I prefer a mixer to do the job. Either a hand mixer or stand mixer makes mixing this big batch of cookies easiest. This is one recipe I don’t double in my kitchen aid mixer. I found it was too large of a batch, but they are simple to mix a second batch when needed.
Using a Bosch Mixer? The cookie paddle attachment works great for a regular batch of cookies, but for a large batch, use the standard dough hook.
For best results I recommend using a cookie scoop. A cookie scoop allows you to create a standard size cookie. Cookies that are sized the same will bake the same. This will allow you to create consistent cookies with the same texture every time. A standard cookie is approximately a tablespoon of cookie dough which equates 1-inch balls of cookie dough.
Additionally you need standard baking tools. Measuring spoons, dry measuring cups and a liquid measuring cup. Rubber spatula, regular spatula, cookie sheets, and a wire rack. I also prefer to use parchment paper when baking to make clean up quick and easy!
Bosch Universal Plus Mixer
The Universal Plus mixer is a dream to use! This powerful mixer gets the job done every time! After years of using a Kitchen Aid, I upgraded to the Deluxe package of the Bosch Universal Plus Deluxe Mixer.
Ingredients you’ll need
To get started making this recipe, you’ll first want to gather all your ingredients to
Here is what you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups
sugar for rolling
I use Grandma’s Original Unsulphured Molasses available in the grocery store.
It is different than blackstrap molasses which will have a bitter taste.
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if mixing by hand) add the oil and sugar. Mix on medium speed until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Next add the molasses and mix until combined.
To reduce dishes, I use a one bowl method. I don’t mix my dry ingredients separately, I add everything to a single bowl. To do this, add directly to the wet ingredients the baking soda, ginger, ground cinnamon and salt first and stir until mixed. You want to be sure that these ingredients are mixed throughout the batch, not isolated to a single section. After this is mixed, add the flour and mix well.
My favorite part about this cookie recipe is that there is no chilling necessary! As soon as the dough is mixed go ahead and roll the cookie dough balls. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into your hand. Roll the dough into a cookie ball and then roll the dough in a separate bowl of raw sugar. This will create sugary tops on the cookie when baked.
While my hands are sticky, I roll all the dough at one time. I fit as many on cookie sheets as I can, the rest are put on a plate. They are rolled into balls and rolled in the raw sugar. As cookies come out of the oven, I added the prepared cookie dough balls to the sheet pan and put them back into the oven. Don’t worry if the prepared dough balls are not perfect shaped cookie balls when you add them to the baking sheet, they bake perfectly every time!
Variation to Try: Roll your cookie dough balls in cinnamon sugar instead!
Place the prepared cookie dough balls on a prepared baking sheets lined with parchment paper (optional). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes to your desired doneness. Cookies baked less time will have create chewy gingersnaps, while cookies baked longer will be more crunchy. I find the first batch takes the longest, especially if you are using a baking stone.
Pro Tip: Use a Timer! I tend to cook by smell but cookies require exact cooking times!
Remove baked cookies to a wire rack. Cool in a single layer until mostly cool. Usually by the time the next batch of cookies come out of the oven you can stack the cookies to make room on the cookie rack.
Want to dress them up? Drizzle with melted white chocolate!
Storing Freshly Baked Ginger Snaps
Freshly baked ginger snaps should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container to maintain their freshness for about a week. If they begin to soften up, put a piece of bread inside to absorb any extra moisture.
I prefer to freeze freshly baked cookies as soon as they are cool. This recipe makes so many cookies, that we can’t possibly, or maybe I should say, shouldn’t eat them fast enough to enjoy them at peak freshness.
I store frozen cookies in a quart size freezer bag. A quart size bag is the perfect size for a dozen gingers snaps which is just enough for the two of us as a sweat treat. No need to freeze the cookies individually, the cookies will not freeze together in a block. Simply pull out the cookies you need and defrost. I personally like them fresh out of the freezer, while they are still frozen!
The real advantage to freezing cookies is it allows you to bake while you have more time. One year, I did all of my holiday baking on Veteran’s Day when I was off from work. This was one of the most stress free holidays ever!
Freezing the Cookie Dough
If you prefer to freeze some of the cookie dough rather than the baked cookies you can. Freeze the prepared cookie dough balls individually on a tray before rolling them in sugar. Once they are frozen store in a zip lock freezer bag. When you are ready to bake, set the frozen cookies out for 30 minutes prior to baking. Roll the slightly defrosted cookie dough balls in sugar and bake as normal. The only advantage to this, in my opinion, is the sweet aroma of fresh baked cookies permeating the house.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cups molasses
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- raw sugar for rolling
- In an electric mixer, combine sugar and oil until well-mixed.
- Add eggs and molasses and mix well.
- Add baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt and mix until combined
- Add flour and mix well.
- Using a small scoop (about 1 tablespoon), roll into balls and roll in raw sugar.
- Using a sheet of parchment paper, cover the cookie sheet. Place cookie balls about 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack.
I do all the rolling of the cookie batter at one time. I place the rolled cookies onto a plate after it's coated in sugar if my cookie sheets are already full. As cookies bake and my cookie sheet frees up, I add the prepared cookie batter to the cookie sheet.
Baked cookies should be kept in an airtight container.
These cookies freeze amazingly! I like them right out of the freezer, no defrosting required. For a stress-free holiday season, bake cookies in advance and freeze for later use.
Not Just for the Holidays
While this gingersnap cookie recipe is my favorite holiday cookie, and considered a classic Chrsitmas cookie recipe. Ginger snaps are perfect anytime of the year. The ginger flavor is perfect for fall treats or holiday parties, however this family favorite is a classic cookie that is good any time of the year. Enjoy a couple of cookies with a cup of coffee or herbal tea.
Did you make this recipe?
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About the Author: Barbra-Sue Kowalski grew up on a small hobby farm. She was always drawn to farm life, however, she was stuck in an urban life far from her roots. Barbra-Sue was a single mom for 13 years, raising her 3 children on her own. She met Philip in 2018 and they married in 2021. Between the two of them, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. These empty nesters are following their dreams! As they both turn 50, they are building their off-grid homestead to live the life that they dream about. Learn more about Philip and Barbra-Sue here. Contact them here. To leave a comment on this post, please scroll down.