Gingersnaps are the most requested Christmas cookie in my house! Soft, chewy, and full of spice, this old fashioned gingersnaps recipe comes right out of my Grandma's recipe files. Small batch recipe for gingersnaps makes just 1 dozen cookies.
You're looking at my absolute favorite Christmas cookie. I have zero willpower when a plate of these cookies are around! Gingersnaps are soft, chewy, and so full of spice! I have a theory that the intense spiciness is cooled only by the sweetness, which makes you crave cookie after cookie! Plus, the chewiness just keeps you going back for more.
This recipe is my grandmother's recipe, which is why it contains shortening. She generally always baked with shortening instead of butter, but you can absolutely use unsalted butter in its place.
This is a small batch recipe of' gingersnaps. It makes just 1 dozen cookies, which is perfect for enjoying with your family, without too many leftover cookies! The way I see it is once the first batch of gingersnaps are gone, you're free to make another batch of Christmas cookies, like Christmas lights cookies, hot cocoa cookies, or fun Christmas sugar cookie cut outs.
I also love that this recipe only makes 1 dozen, because it's perfect for baking with kids. While kids love to bake cookies around the holidays, I've found that they lose interest after scooping 4.3 cookies, heh. This recipe makes just enough for the family, and to keep the kids entertained.
Gingersnap recipe ingredients:
-shortening or butter
-granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling the cookies in before baking)
-one large egg white: we don't need the egg yolk because this is a small batch recipe. You can find ways to use leftover egg yolks here.
-molasses: Do not use blackstrap molasses, because it has a strong savory flavor that will make your cookies taste funky. Use the regular molasses with the grandma on the label.
-ground ginger: Use the freshest ground spices for baking. I like to replace all of my spices right before the holiday baking season so they're all fresh and super spicy!
-baking soda, a lot of it. Baking soda is actually what makes these cookies crinkle and have big fissures in the surface. The acidity of the baking soda weakens the gluten in the dough, which allows for more bubbles to form in the dough during baking. Then, the dough puffs and collapses, creating extra crackles to let the excess moisture evaporate.
How to make gingersnaps:
- Preheat the oven, and make sure you have a cookie sheet ready (no need to use parchment or spray it with non-stick spray).
- Fill a small shallow bowl with some extra sugar that we will roll the cookies in just before baking.
- Cream together the shortening (or butter) and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute with an electric mixer.
- Add the egg white and molasses, and beat just to combine.
- Sprinkle the flour, spices, and baking soda on top, and beat to combine.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out 1 tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Roll into a smooth ball, and then roll in the sugar.
- Place on the cookie sheet evenly spaced, and bake for 11-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies look set. Let them cool on the sheet pan for 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
How to store this gingersnaps recipe:
These cookies have a lovely chewiness that only improves the day after baking. I store these cookies at room temperature in an air-tight container. They last for 3 days, though they're usually gone on day 1 in my house!
Small batch of chewy old fashioned gingersnaps.
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons shortening or butter
- ½ cup sugar (plus extra for rolling)
- 1 large egg white
- 2 tablespoons molasses*
- 1 cup flour
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and ensure a rack is in the center position of the oven.
- Have ready a shallow bowl filled with extra sugar for rolling cookies in.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg white and molasses and mix well.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients on top and beat until just combined.
- Scoop tablespoon-size chunks of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. You should get 12-13 cookies. Roll each cookie in sugar. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 11-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookie look firm.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will be very soft, but they will firm up as they cool.
Do not use blackstrap molasses for this recipe--it has a strange savory flavor.
You may substitute unsalted butter instead of shortening.
You may also double the recipe.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g
Can I add the whole egg? I really don’t want to throw out the yolk. Will it make a big difference in the cookie?
Christina Lane says
Don't add the whole egg; follow the recipe. I have a recipe index to use up the remaining yolk :)
love the recipe!!! they tasted amazing, thanks so much!!
These are the best ginger cookies! 8 make them on repeat and LOVE that it’s a small batch since there’s only two of us. Thank you so much for your recipes!
Super easy to make and so delicious! Next time I'll have to double the recipe because my family ate them up so quickly.
Mary Calderbank says
The cookies were very nice but not enough ginger for my taste, I will double the amount when I make them again.
scott sproat says
i love these cookies. i did change a few things. added 1 t. of ginger, and 1 t. of cinnamon. added a little lemon zest. baked about 14 min. perfect. thanks Christina
Hi! Would baking them on parchment paper prevent the cookies from getting the pretty crackle top? I tried to refrigerate the batter over night but no luck! Thanks!
just wondering if i could swap out the molassass for brown sugar, and how much brown sugar would be needed, please answer soon!
Christina Lane says
I haven't tested the recipe that way, I'm sorry. I have only tested the recipe the way it is written. Your best bet is to google the phrase 'how to substitute brown sugar for molasses' and go from there. Molasses is such a key part of gingersnaps.