Gingersnap cookies. Credit: Sandy Oliver

These gingersnap cookies are too delicious and too ideal for eating by the handful,  unfortunately causing the baker to be left wondering where all 60 of them went so quickly.

Joanne Hammar gave me this recipe in 2001. After her professorship ended, Joanne retired to Islesboro where members of her family had vacationed for a long time. She belonged to the community chorus and must have brought these cookies to one of the receptions that followed our concerts. She also gave me a very good recipe for mincemeat cookies made with condensed mincemeat, which is almost impossible to find.

Joanne’s recipe called for “shortening,” which of course might be hydrogenated vegetable oil like Crisco, or margarine, or lard, or butter. I used butter. It also called for cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger. I doubled up on ginger because, after all, ginger is in the name, and I used cinnamon and nutmeg, but left out the cloves this time. You can do as I did or follow the recipe as given below to see how you like the flavor then tinker the next time to suit your taste.

Joanne said that you can bake them at 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for seven to 10 minutes. In my oven, however, at 375 it took a minimum of 10 minutes. They puff up a little, then when done, flatten down. You’ll want to check them at the eight or so minute mark to see what baking time will be in your kitchen’s oven.

It’s a good idea to chill the dough before you make the balls. If you don’t want to bake these right away, you can store the dough well-wrapped for a few days in the fridge, or even bake off one pan at a time as needed.

For years, I’ve used my mom’s gingersnap recipe, which instructs us to roll the dough in 1-inch balls then roll the balls in granulated sugar before baking. Joanne’s recipes has us place the 1-inch balls on a cookie sheet, then flatten with the greased bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. That results in an evenly shaped, almost perfectly round cookie. You could fool people into thinking you were serving manufactured cookies, only these probably taste better than anything found in a box.

Molasses Gingersnap Cookies

Makes five dozen cookies.

¾ cup butter
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups sifted flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Add the molasses and egg and beat well.

Sift together flour, baking soda and powder, and the spices, and add to the sugar, butter, molasses and egg mixture.

Beat, then cover and chill.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a cookie sheet or line one with parchment paper.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the cookie sheet.

Lightly grease the bottom of a glass, and dip into granulated sugar.

Flatten each ball to about a quarter of an inch thick.

Bake for eight to 10 minutes and check. When they are browned and have puffed then flattened, remove from the oven and cool.

Store in a container with a tight lid.

Avatar photo

Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...