Make Ahead

Soft Gingersnaps (a.k.a. Molasses Cookies)

October  9, 2012
5 Ratings
  • Makes approx. 40 cookies
Author Notes

People who think they don't like gingersnaps don't know what they're saying till they've tried these.

This is my Grandmother's recipe, with a few of my own tips because I have made them so often and really learned my way around this cookie. In college I made these with friends all the time, they were always a hit! I have become quite pompous about this recipe, and every time I make them for people I'm afraid I've talked them up so much they won't live up to the hype, but this cookie always come through. —Grace Ellen Oliver

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup salted butter- no margarine!
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups flour (I like White Whole Grain)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  1. Cream (blend) butter and sugar in mixer till smooth. You can't overdo it. Butter will cooperate better if it's room temp but cold from the fridge is fine if you have a good mixer. If you are using a hand mixer, make sure you have a deep mixing bowl.
  2. Add beaten egg and molasses to butter and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, soda, and spices. Sift together with a fork or spoon.
  4. Add your dry ingredients to wet mixture, mixing in a little at a time.
  5. Ball the cookies and roll in sugar. To ball the dough, you can use a spoon, or just grab a little with your hands, and roll in your hands to make it round. Shoot for the balled dough to be about 1 inch in diameter. Rolling in sugar is the fun part. I like to use a wide mug and put a little sugar in the cup (1/4 cup if you need a measurement) and shake it side to side. My mom uses a little bowl and rolls it around with a spoon. Whatever is fun for you works. This is the part that is fun for kids or friends to help with!
  6. Place balled sugared dough on ungreased cookie sheet, or stoneware if you have it. Stoneware is better of course! Your pizza stone works fine if you don't have a stone bar pan.
  7. Bake at 375. 8 minutes on metal pans, 10 on stoneware. Tip: The cookies WILL NOT seem done after this amount of time and you will be tempted to give them a couple more minutes. Resist the urge. After they cool, they flatten and dry out a little but stay soft. If you give them the extra couple minutes they are crunchier and less melt in your mouth perfect. I usually let them stay on the stoneware for 5 minutes or so after they come out of the oven and then let them cool. The timing makes a big difference! Whatever kind of pan you use, the cookies will be too fragile to move before they've cooled a little. Patience, grasshopper!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • knarayan
  • Christy Clay
    Christy Clay
  • Carlynn Houghton
    Carlynn Houghton

5 Reviews

knarayan January 22, 2023
I made these as written, including the white whole wheat flour, with my only change being to roll the dough balls in turbinado sugar rather than white sugar before baking. Followed the baking and resting time exactly as suggested and the texture was perfect - soft in the middle, chewy around the edges. They were a hit at my party and got a lot of compliments and requests for the recipe!
Christy C. December 9, 2019
I made these with gluten free flour and there were delicious!
Carlynn H. December 21, 2013
These cookies are amazing—fast, easy, and delicious. I made them for my students today, and they asked me for the recipe.
AntoniaJames October 9, 2012
This is my mother's recipe (though she used a bit less ginger and cloves), and we called them "Molasses Cookies". Just love it. So glad you posted this. (I have the recipe in an email from my sister; it's good to know I can also find it online.) Oh and BTW, my favorite way to roll them in sugar is to use a large, flat soup dish with about 1/4 cup of sugar in the bottom of it. Then I put about ten or twelve rolled balls of dough at a time on the sugar, and gently shake the balls so they all start rolling themselves in the sugar at once. It takes about 10 seconds to cover them all. ;o)
Grace E. December 1, 2012
Thanks! I added a photo today but I can't seem to get it in the picture box up top.