Chewy Ginger Snap cookies have a bold ginger flavor and irresistibly chewy texture. They are fun and easy to make at home!
Ginger Snap cookies are unforgettable. With a big, bold flavor of ginger and other spices, they really stand out.
Whether eating them on their own or making them into something else, like a pie crust or cheesecake crust, they are a delicious and versatile cookie.
What are Ginger Snaps?
Ginger Snaps, also known as Gingersnaps, Ginger Biscuits or Ginger Nuts in the UK, are cookies flavored with powdered ginger, as well as other spices such as cinnamon and usually molasses. They have a strong flavor of ginger.
When purchased in the store they are a brittle cookie with a distinct ‘snap’ when biting into them or breaking them.
The brittle texture makes them perfect for grinding into crumbs for other uses along with dunking in coffee or just eating them.
Ginger Snaps are usually a small reddish-brown cookie with crackling on the top.
Chewy Ginger Snaps
This recipe is based on a vintage Ginger Snap recipe to make a chewy version.
The texture is pleasing and easier to eat then their brittle counterpart.
In addition to the classic spices, these cookies also have diced crystallized ginger with bring another level of bold ginger flavor to the cookie.
They are easy and fun to make too.
Chewy Ginger Snap Ingredients
The ingredients for Ginger Snap cookies are much the same as other cookies. The spices and molasses are what give them their classic flavor.
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated Sugar
- Baking Powder
- All Purpose Flour, regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure style flour blend
- Ground Cloves
- Ground Ginger
- Ground Cinnamon
- Kosher Salt
- Crystallized Ginger
Baking Powder vs Baking Soda
This recipe was a vintage recipe from a magazine and originally included baking soda.
In my recipe testing I found the cookies spread and were thin when using baking soda.
Baking powder tends to allow cookies to keep their shape better.
For this chewy ginger snap recipe it allows keeping a perfect thickness to make a fantastic texture for the cookie.
Also called ‘candied ginger‘, this form of ginger has been cooked in a sweet simple syrup and rolled in sugar.
It has a gummy to semi-hard texture and comes in small pieces in a spice bottle.
You’ll find this ginger with the spices or baking supplies at the grocery store.
Making them Gluten-Free
The only ingredient that is not naturally gluten-free is the flour. I prefer to use a measure-for-measure style gluten-free flour blend.
These gluten-free flour blends are designed to swap into traditional recipes and produce the same results as all purpose gluten flour.
There are multiple brands that make this type of flours. One I recommend after much use is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Flour.
How to Make Chewy Ginger Snaps – Step-by-Step
STEP 1: Combine the baking powder, flour and dry spices in a bowl.
STEP 2: In a second bowl (or bowl of a standing mixer) cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar.
STEP 3: Slowly add the molasses and egg to the mixture in STEP 2. Do not overmix.
STEP 4: Slowly add the dry ingredients beating on low speed to fully incorporate. Stir in the crystallized ginger.
STEP 5: Cover and chill the dough until stiff (1-2 hours).
STEP 6: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
STEP 7: Roll the ginger snap dough into 1-inch diameter balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar. Place on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
STEP 8: Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. After baking, allow cookies to sit on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Why Chill the Cookie Dough?
Chilling cookie dough does three important things:
- Solidified the fat so when baked the cookies don’t spread as much. Chilled butter won’t liquefy as quickly as room temperature butter. So the cookies hold their shape better.
- Makes the flavor more concentrated. Sugar is absorbent and will soak in the flavors when chilled. This creates a more flavor-dense cookie when baked.
- Creates a chewier cookie. When dough has been chilled it will create a more textured cookie rather than a soft, doughy texture.This also has to do with the sugar absorbing other ingredients during the chilling period.
How to Store
In an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
Can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
Chewy Ginger Snaps
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder (see Notes below)
- 2 cups All Purpose flour (I used King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour blend; can use all purpose flour if not making them gluten-free)
- ½ teaspoon ground Cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground Ginger
- 2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¾ cup unsalted Butter , softened
- 1 cup granulated Sugar (plus 1/2-3/4 cups extra for rolling the cookies before baking)
- ¼ cup Molasses
- 1 Egg , room temperature and lightly beaten
- 3 ounces Crystallized Ginger , diced
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together baking powder, flour, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a second mixing bowl, with a mixer cream the softened butter. Add the sugar and beat to fully combine.
Add the molasses and egg; beat on low to combine (do not over mix).
Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, beating on low speed, adding a small amount and allowing it to incorporate before adding more.
Stir in crystallized ginger.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until dough is fully chilled and stiff.
Ten minutes before the hour chilling time is done, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place enough sugar to roll the dough in a small bowl. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Place in sugar and roll the dough ball to fully cover.
Place dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper allowing 2 inch spacing between them. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Allow cookies to sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes or until set.
The original recipe called for Baking Soda. I found however that when using baking soda, the cookies flattened and spread, versus keeping their beautiful shape when using baking powder. This may be related to using gluten-free flour as the original recipe was not originally gluten-free.
Originally published: September 17, 2013
Ginger Snaps are a delicious, classic cookie with bold spicy flavors you’ll love!