One of the biggest things I’ve learned about blogging is that there is a “national day” for almost everything. Seriously, even ginger snaps have their own special day: July 1st. But who can wait for summer when its holiday cookie season. Ginger snaps are typically small, round (also called biscuit) cookies, and are a derivation of traditional gingerbread, and the another German Christmas cookie called lebkuchen, made from honey, spices and nuts.
The name “ginger snap” comes from the fact these cookies are often very crispy and make a snapping sound when eaten. Unlike gingerbread cookies, which are traditionally made in shapes, then iced and decorated, ginger snaps are less involved. Typically round in shape, these crispy cousins are considered globally popular, especially during the holiday time and go well with tea and coffee anytime of day. My ginger snaps are slightly untraditional, in this recipe I opt for a softer cookie, instead of a real crispy one, but they are just as delicious, if not more so.
The origins of both gingerbread and ginger snaps goes back hundreds of years. People in colonial times enjoyed these cookies, both in European countries as well as in America. Molasses, one of the main ingredients used to make ginger snaps, was used as a sweetener rather than sugar because it was less expensive and more readily available.
While I love and often crave just a simple straightforward ginger snap of any variety, I also love them dipped in semi-sweet chocolate or drizzled with white chocolate or…both. A simple way to elevate this flavorful favorite to a whole different playing field–one I think you’ll love as much as I do. A quick note on design: For the drizzled chocolate pattern, I make a small parchment pastry bag/cone for the melted chocolate to help me obtain the fun zigzag pattern. For help on how to make a simple parchment pastry bag/cone, check out this link.
Ginger Snap Cookies
- For the Ginger Snaps:
- 2 cups sugar, plus additional for dusting
- 1 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the Chocolate Topping:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted (optional)
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 2 In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, such as a KitchenAid fitted with a paddle attachment, add the sugar and oil. Mix on low until well incorporated. Add the eggs and molasses.
- Step 3 Slowly add the flour, followed by the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Mix well.
- Step 4 Place a generous amount of sugar in a shallow bowl and place by your work station.
- Step 5 Using your hands, gently roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the sugar-coating evenly. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining cookie dough. Be sure to leave about 2 inches between the cookies to allow for spreading. Bake for about 9-10 minutes until just set. Note: If you plan on dipping or drizzling the cookies with chocolate, allow them to cool completely before doing so.
- Step 6 For dipped ginger snaps, place the chocolate chips and butter in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat slowly in 30 second intervals until melted. Mix well to incorporate. Dip half of the ginger snap into the melted chocolate and place back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
- Step 7 For drizzled ginger snaps, place the white chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl and heat slowly in 30 second intervals until melted. For best results, make a small parchment paper pastry bag (see link above) to help drizzle the melted chocolate in a criss-cross pattern over the cookie.