Personally I am not a fan of cookies and baked goods. I can resist all of it (in fact, resistance is not the issue since I am not even tempted). I don’t like chocolate, do not like nuts and generally don’t see anything redeeming about a number of ingredients. My one weakness is spice. Gingerbread and gingersnap cookies really do it for me, so I generally try not to bake them very often (an effort eased by the rarity of molasses. A colleague and his girlfriend (both of whom I would consider my friends now) actually gave me a lovely jar of molasses, which I put to good use in my last baking marathon of 2010 in a new gingersnap recipe. Thanks to E and A!).
It really is not possible for me to make holiday cookies without including gingersnaps and gingerbread in the mix. I have been making the same gingersnap recipe all my life, based on the recipe my mother always used, but I have found that it has not been yielding the results I wanted. (I do not know what changed – maybe it’s the ingredients or something because I am not living at a different altitude and don’t find the climate or air pressure, etc. to be significantly different from the environment in which I always made the original gingersnap recipe. For those who do not know, these kinds of environmental factors actually alter baking and its results a great deal, and you will have to take steps to change your recipes, particularly the amount of leavening agent used, to account for altitude and the like.)
I found a new recipe for gingersnaps, which is actually vegan. I kept it mostly vegan but still used real butter. Another difference in the recipe here is that it is heavy on ginger (requiring a large dose of ground ginger as well as fresh grated ginger, which I skipped when I made these, as I did not have any fresh ginger on hand and could not find any in the local store) and does not call for a variety of spices (other than a bit of cinnamon). My standard recipe, as well as most other gingersnap recipes I see, asks for a variety of spices. This new dough also turns out being a lot more “solid” than many other fluffier cookie doughs. It is a lot like putty and not at all sticky.
The cookies themselves turn out soft and thick, which is what I was going for. (I made them very small because I needed to make about a million of them, but they would be perfect as very large cookies.) Many people want their gingersnaps to actually… snap. Crispy, thin, crunchy. I don’t fall into that camp.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup water (or more as needed)
1/4 to 1/3 cup of molasses
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. Mix butter, molasses, vanilla, grated fresh ginger and water together. (You can use between 1/4 and 1/3 cup of molasses. They have a strong flavor, so you can decide how much to use based on how strong a molasses taste you want to achieve.)
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir by hand. Keep stirring until a dough forms. If it is too dry, add more water, a couple of tablespoons at a time (do not overdo it) until the dough comes together and achieves a very soft clay-like consistency.
You can refrigerate the dough if you wish, but I didn’t.
Preheat oven to 375F. Roll dough in small balls and then roll in sugar. Press the dough balls flat with your hand or with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake 9 to 10 minutes.
7 thoughts on “Gingersnaps: Dough monkey dough balls”
Yum! I'm going to have to try this recipe with my non-dairy (non-skim milk) butter. I love the ginger snaps! Crunchy, soft, no matter.
Yes, dear husband! Try them! 🙂 Hahahhaaha. I have not called you my husband in so long and seeing your comment here just made me wish sooooooooooooooooo much we could meet up and laugh and talk again like the old days. I really do need to have my chutney prepared for me. (Makes me happy to see your comment or your pic or anything at all from you! Miss you!)