It wasn’t until my thirties that I really started to appreciate gingersnap cookies, but now that I do, I’m always on the hunt for them during the holiday season.
And I have to tell you, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that no two gingersnaps are alike. I suppose they’re sort of like sugar cookies in that way. Both cookies run the gambit from ultra soft to extra crunchy, so no matter how you like your cookies, there’s bound to be a recipe out there that’s perfect for you.
As for me, I tend to like my cookies right in the middle of the two extremes.
Soft and chewy gingersnaps are where it’s at.
Now, I’m not what you’d call a master baker by any means, but there are a few “truths” I’ve learned over the years that seem to be consistent for every recipe I bake.
For one, recipes made from old cookbooks tend to be the best. That’s not to say there aren’t any gems in recent additions – trust me, there are a few – but I consistently have the best results when I reach deep back in the archives and pull out a classic. And, in the case of these gingersnaps, that’s exactly what I did.
When my mother moved to Arizona last summer, she brought with her a few of her old cookbooks, and I like to flip through them when I have a little downtime. There’s one series in particular – called All-American Cooking – that I’ve been loving lately. Sadly it’s no longer in publication, but at least the cookbooks managed to survive the last 20 years to eventually end up in my possession.
And as for the second truth, it has everything to do with eating… That is, when is the best time to eat a cookie.
Plenty can be said for eating a warm cookie right out of the oven, but as for me?
I’ve always found a cookie tastes its absolute best the day after it was baked. Of course, that means I have to wait an agonizing 24 hours (!!) before I can have the best cookie imaginable, but you know what?
It’s totally worth it.
And as for how these cookies turned out?
They’re deliciously soft, decadently chewy, and do a wonderful job of showcasing the ever-so-slightly spicy bite of ginger.
Plus, the powdered sugar on top is a super easy (and festive!) way to dress up these cookies to fit all of your holiday plans.
Do you have to use vegetable shortening?
This cookie recipe uses vegetable shortening instead of butter, which is quite common with “classic” recipes.
If you’d rather use unsalted butter instead, you can use an equal portion of butter (3/4 cup) in place of the vegetable shortening. For more info, check out this article on shortening substitutions.
Do you have to chill the dough?
Because this recipe uses vegetable shortening, there’s no real need to chill the dough.
However, if you substitute the vegetable shortening for butter (see note above) then I’d recommend chilling the dough for at least one hour.
You can get more info on how long to chill cookie dough that contains butter here: Chilling Cookie Dough: Does it Make a Difference?
Can you freeze gingersnap cookies?
If you’d like to always have a batch of these cookies on hand, the easiest way is to freeze them for later. There are two ways you can do this.
To freeze the raw dough:
- Mix all ingredients, then scoop out about one tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball (the same way you would before baking).
- Place cookie dough balls on a tray and freeze for at least two hours or until outside is no longer tacky. Once firm, transfer to a freezer bag or a storage container with a sealable lid.
- Cookie dough can be stored for up to six months. When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake like normal.
To freeze the baked cookies:
- Bake cookies and allow to cool completely.
- Store cookies in a single layer in a freezer bag or storage container. If you need to stack the cookies, separate each layer with a sheet of wax paper.
- Baked cookies and be stored for up to three months.
Notes & tips for these gingersnap cookies
- If you’re doing a lot of baking, I highly recommend having some silicone baking mats or silicone baking mats on hand. Baking cookies takes enough time without having to cut or measure parchment paper. Or if you prefer using parchment paper, you can try using pre-cut parchment paper sheets instead.
- Plus, some quality baking sheets are a must for a cookie baking extravaganza!
- For this recipe, I highly recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. This recipe would be difficult to make by hand with a whisk
- If you’re in the mood for more winter-themed treats, there’s also Snowball Cake Dip and Jack Frost Winter Cocktail!
More fun cookie recipes
Snow Topped Gingersnap Cookies
Classic gingersnap cookies that are deliciously chewy and dusted with powdered sugar for a festive holiday look. Easy to make and no chilling needed!
In a large bowl, shift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt. Set bowl aside.
Drop mixer speed to low and add egg and molasses to shortening mixture, blending well in between each.
Keeping speed on low, quickly add dry ingredients to the wet. Tip: use a 1/3 or 1/2 measuring cup to continually scoop the dry ingredients in while the batter continues to mix (see above video for example). Stop mixing once dry ingredients have incorporated; be careful not to overmix.
Using a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll it between your hands. Roll cookie dough in the bowl of powdered sugar, covering the outside. Place finished cookie ball on prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all dough is used, placing cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Bake cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the surface of cookies are cracked and the dough visible between the cracks does not appear wet.
Let cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, use a shaker to dust the tops of the cookies with the remaining powdered sugar so that they look "snow topped." Cookies can be stored in a sealed container on the counter for up to 4 days.