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Monday, September 15, 2014

Recipe: Gingersnaps

Recipe: Gingersnaps

Gingersnap Cookies

A case of popular demand if there ever was one...

These Gingersnaps have received a lot of attention since I posted photos from Culinary School several weeks ago. But it's well-deserved attention. 

These cookies are just about perfect. They are tremendously flavorful (hope you like a good kick of spice, because these cookies are not holding back), and they achieve a perfect balance between crispy and chewy.

...and rumor has it that these cookies are amazing with slices of cheddar cheese. I've still yet to try that pairing, but let me know if you do!

Part of the syllabus from the Professional Pastry Arts Program at The International Culinary Centerthis recipe appears courtesy of the school. This recipe, and many others from the Pastry Arts Program, can be found in "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts"


Yield50 Cookies

  • White Bread Flour: 525g (4.25 Cups)
  • White Granulated Sugar: 400g (2.0 Cups)
  • Butter: 150g (2/3 Cup)
  • Eggs: 2 Count
  • Molasses: 160mL (2/3 Cup)
  • Vinegar: 20mL (5 Tsp)
  • Baking Soda: 1 Tbls
  • Ground Ginger: 1 Tbls
  • Cinnamon: 3/4 Tsp
  • Cloves: 3/4 Tsp
  • Cardamom: 3/4 Tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 Tsp

Chef’s note: Bread flour is best for these cookies because of the high protein content; however, All-Purpose Flour can be used in a pinch. The vinegar may seem like an odd ingredient, but the acid is necessary to activate the baking soda as a leavening agent.


1. Cube the butter and let it come to room temperature. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment,  cream the butter and sugar until the mixture lightens in color and increases somewhat in volume.

2. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure that each egg is completely incorporated and that the dough returns to a smooth, emulsified texture before continuing.

3. Combine the molasses and vinegar in a small bowl. In a thin, steady stream, slowly pour the molasses into the mixer while beating on medium speed, letting the ingredients emulsify.

4. Sift together all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and salt). With the mixer turned off, pour the sifted ingredients into the bowl. On the lowest speed, mix the ingredients until the flour is just incorporated. 

Chef’s note: Minimizing the mixing after the flour is added is critical. Mixing develops the gluten bonds in the bread flour. The more you mix, the greater the number of bonds and the stronger the bonds that form. Minimizing the gluten formation creates a more tender cookie.

5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm.

6. Divide the dough into 50 evenly portioned balls (each ball will weigh approximately 25 grams).

7. Roll the balls of dough in sugar and place them on parchment lined sheet pans. Stagger the arrangement of the cookies to ensure even baking (e.g. a row of 4 cookies, then a row of 3 cookies, then a row of 4 cookies...)

8. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 - 10 minutes or until firm at the edges. The cookies will spread flat and have a cracked textured surface. Let the cookies cool a few minutes on the sheet pan before transferring to cooling racks.

Gingersnaps Mise-en-Place

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