Ginger Cookies You Can Make Your Own

September 28, 2015

I thought of these ginger cookies as my own—until I learned how my friend was making them.

I’ve been making the ginger cookie recipe below for easily 20 years. I have added and subtracted the amounts of fresh and dried and candied ginger and I have varied the type and amount of flour: You’ll find a delicious wheat-free version with oat flour in my latest book, Flavor Flours. For ice cream sandwiches, I make them with 1/4 cup less flour (a total of 9 ounces/255 grams) so they spread a bit thinner on the pan and are less hard to bite into when frozen. 

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On a recent all-day-long “pastry crawl” in San Francisco—somebody has to do this hard work—with pastry-chef-turned-public-relations pal, Deborah Kwan, I learned that she has also been using “my” recipe for ages and has experimented even more than I have. Here is what she said when I asked for details:

“I've made them with a half-and-half mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat flours, sometimes even up to 3/4 whole wheat flour. It really depends on what I have in my pantry. What really sends these cookies over the top is my own misreading of the ingredient list. Instead of 2 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger, I've put in 2 ounces. I have a generous hand with the candied ginger too.”

Deborah went on to say, “The cookies get better when they've had a chance to age a day or two. So good with tea! Or when you're stuck on the Bay Bridge!”  

When she runs out of powdered ginger she uses a tad more allspice and some cloves; because she includes so much fresh and candied ginger, the powdered ginger is not even missed.

Then she asked if I wanted even more details…! 

Clearly, these ginger cookies are up to your own interpretation. Let’s see what you can do with the recipe…

My Ginger Cookies

Adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies (Artisan, 2010)

Makes fifty-six 2 1/4-inch cookies

2 1/4 cups (285 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and just warm
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/3 cup (66 grams) firmly packed brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons finely minced or grated fresh ginger root
1 large egg
3/4 cup (113 grams) ginger chips or crystallized ginger, cut into 1⁄4-inch dice, shaken in a coarse strainer to remove loose sugar
About 1/2 cup (100 grams) Demerara or turbinado or granulated sugar for rolling

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Bobbi Lin

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kate
  • Anne13
  • Two Trays Kitchen
    Two Trays Kitchen
  • CHeeb
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).


Kate December 16, 2023
Hi there, this doesn't show molasses in the ingredients list, but it is required if you click the link to the full recipe. My husband referenced this for grocery shopping and we missed this very key ingredient. You need 1/4 cup (85 grams) unsulphured mild or full-flavored molasses (not blackstrap).
Anne13 September 28, 2015
These sound like great holiday cookies! If you dipped them in dark chocolate, could you still freeze them?
CHeeb September 29, 2015
I would think the dip ,whether chocolate or vanilla bark,would help seal the cookie against some of the freezer's natural frost. Just be careful not to knock off your pretty dip...once frozen it will be
Two T. September 28, 2015
Love these! Blogged about Alice's gingersnaps (which I saw on her website) last year which I pimped with chopped dark chocolate and some whole wheat pastry flour. Definitely a good one!
CHeeb September 28, 2015
Alice,this touch is totally gilding the lily,but at Christmas I melt white almond/vanilla bark and half-dip them once the cookie is cooled. I then impatiently let the dipped cookies dry on wax paper. This is a cookie that looks very fancy and tastes divine. I don't even feel guilty dipping them since they are half-dipped!!!
Sarah J. September 28, 2015
Wow that sounds amazing!! I bet dark chocolate would be great, too.