My Favorite Cookies

April 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm 89 comments

It doesn’t matter how many cookie recipes I dog-ear or bookmark. I’ve tried everything from tuiles to the famous Word Peace cookies. These gingersnaps will always, always be my favorite cookie EVER.

I don’t mean to go over the top, but I love these cookies. I am in love with them. I love them down to the last detail.

First of all, they are beautiful. I’ve never made any cookie that is this consistantly perfect. Chocolate chip cookies come out misshapen and flat, sugar cookies always seem to brown unevenly, even oatmeal raisin cookies can come out bland – never these cookies. Every single cookie comes out a perfectly round circle, beautifully cracked, and sparkling with big crystals of sugar. And the flavor! Cinnamon is my favorite spice, and these cookies have the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.


Really, I could keep raving, and I’m trying not to go overboard. But if you’re not already sold and measuring out the sugar, I won’t feel bad about continuing. The texture of these cookies is just right; they’re lightly crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle. The cookies are (in my opinion) the best size, gone in three bites and leaving you wanting more. You don’t even a mixer. It only takes two bowls. The dough takes 5 minutes to make! Plus, plus, they’re only 60 calories a cookie. Not that that matters. :)

On another note… I’m enjoying the last days of my spring break and decided to make myself a light box for my photography. I had all the materials on hand, so it was free, instructions courtesy of Strobist. These were my first photos using it… I’m pretty pleased with the results, although I was using natural sunlight. I’ll have to see how it works with artificial lighting.

But back to the gingersnaps. Please, please do yourself a favor and make these.

While I wouldn’t suggest messing with a good thing, you could easily add mini chocolate chips or lemon zest to these cookies. These cookies are perfect on their own, but I always dunk mine in milk. I also suspect, since all the cookies are uniform circles, that these would make great ice cream sandwiches (vanilla? Maybe peach ice cream.)

Perfect Gingersnaps
Makes 5 dozen 2″ cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
Sugar for rolling (I like evaporated cane juice or raw sugar)

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, combine together the brown sugar, molasses, canola oil, and egg until smooth. Mix the flour mixture into the brown mixture, stirring until dough comes together. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop up bits of dough by the heaping teaspoonful and roll into balls between your palms, about the size of a quarter. Roll the balls in sugar and place on the baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake 8 minutes – if you like crispy gingersnaps, try 9-10 minutes.

Cookies will be very soft but will firm up. Leave on the baking sheet several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Printer Friendly Version – Perfect Gingersnaps

Entry filed under: Cookies. Tags: , , , .

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk Muffins Simple Pear Tart for two – SHF

89 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alicia  |  April 12, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    These look so good! I love gingersnaps too! and i agree, they do seem to always turn out perfect! Im definitely going to try these. Nice lightbox!

  • 2. Jenny Tan  |  April 14, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Oh wow!!! I need one of those light box too!! =)

  • 3. C money  |  April 13, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    “perfect” gingersnaps is a perfect name for these. i dont remember much of what i eat but every time she bakes these i can’t stop myself from taking the whole batch

  • 4. Spirited Miu Flavor  |  April 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Hi, I saw your cookies at Tastespotting and I’m so glad I made it here. Great looking cookies you made, and also that DIY project is so nice. Thank you for sharing!


  • 5. Baking Monster  |  April 15, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Hey great job!I’m just like you I’m 17 and I love baking more then anything.

  • 6. Mermaid Sweets  |  April 15, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Just found your blog, love the cookies, ginger cookies are my fav, although I like them chewy, and love the photo studio, so clever.

  • 7. Elissa  |  April 15, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Alicia – I have to admit, looks are important to me :) Not only for photography purposes but also presentation… Which is why I love these.

    Jenny – It’s amazing what a little light can do!

    C – Thank youu :)

    Ozge – I appreciate you that, thanks!

    Baking Monster – It’s so cool to meet another teenage baker. Sounds like we have a lot in common

    Mermaid Sweets – Thanks :) They’re my fav too.

  • 8. Thip  |  April 17, 2009 at 11:50 am

    cool studio box. :)

  • 9. Kevin  |  April 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies as well. They look great!

  • 10. Jen  |  April 18, 2009 at 6:49 am

    I adore your blog!!! What lovely photography and recipes :)

  • 11. Michelle  |  April 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Hi! I wandered over from Erin Cooks. She’s right. Your blog is fantastic! Delicious cookie pics and your lightbox rocks. I’m going to have to try that. :)

  • 12. Shweta  |  May 3, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Hi…I saw these on Tastespotting, and I have to say – your write-up was really convincing and I didn’t waste any time trying them out. You can’t call them anything less than perfect! I think I could make a living out of these :)

  • 13. Jamie  |  May 11, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Wow, I love ginger snaps but have never found the right squishy texture…thank-you so much for this recipe! Can’t wait to keep reading :)

  • 14. Holly  |  November 14, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I made your cookies, and they were absolutely Fantastic!! Thank you for the recipe. Your cookies will be made over and over at my house. Love your Blog!

  • 15. anna  |  December 4, 2009 at 8:51 am

    these look delicious, and i can’t wait to try them this weekend! :)

  • 16. Sherly  |  December 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    i don’t have any parchment paper. can you substitute something instead?

    • 17. Elissa  |  December 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm

      Sherly – If you don’t have parchment paper, you could use Silpat nonstick baking sheets or wax paper. Or you could grease the cookie sheets lightly with butter/oil/nonstick spray. These cookies might not even need a nonstick surface, it depends how your batch comes out. Good luck! :)

  • 18. Karen  |  December 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I found your site the other day while hopping between food blogs and was impressed with your photography, writing style and of course, your recipes. I found this Gingersnap recipe shortly thereafter and made them tonight, won over by your very convincing description of what perfect cookies there are. This IS the most delicious recipe. That coming from a person who is not normally a gingersnap fan. Even though there is a lot of spice – they don’t overpower one another or the cookie itself. PERFECT!

  • 19. In the Kitchen with… Gingersnaps « The Seeker  |  December 17, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    […] with… Gingersnaps 5 12 2009 When someone raves as excessively as she did in this post 17 and Baking’s Gingersnaps, I feel the peer pressure.  Caving, I trudged to the ever-hated grocery store to fill out my […]

  • 20. sargantj  |  December 26, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    I am looking forward to making the ginger snaps. My favorite store bought brand went out of business. I am a senior citizen who discovered baking when I was 8 years old. It was a good Summer activity while my parents worked all day. I had a book that gave vague recipes: “flour enough to make a stiff dough”. It was good at age 8, but by the time I was 12 the dough no longer worked. . . it was much too stiff.

    you are on your way to a life long love.

  • 21. honesty  |  December 26, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    These look really super! They really seem perfect, simple, spicy, and low calorie. I am a spicy cookie person too. I would like to try them only I have to see when I get the ingredients. Hopefully, my other ingredients don’t get to old!
    Glad to hear that you started your baking so young! I started at the same age and still love it to this day. Remember, baking for your family and friends is the way to show how much you care!

  • 22. shelley  |  December 27, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I saw your picture and your blog-name on the AOL featured articles. I too have enjoyed experimenting with recipes – it’s such a fun way to express the natural/God given gift of creativity! What an inspiration and an encouragement you were to me, in pursueing my many avenues of creativity such as baking, writing, music, storytelling,etc.
    Your quote from the Cream Cheese Rippled Pumpkin Bread article, is what did it for me-see below.
    “Last week I turned in my senior quote. I did a slight twist on Harriet van Horne’s quote and submitted, “Baking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.” Every aspect of my life, baking no exception, intertwines with heartfelt emotion, passion, and optimism”
    Thank you, Elissa

  • 23. Mary  |  December 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

    My roommates mom used to send these to her when we were in college 30+ years ago. She called them Molasses Cookies, and I still make them. You make them look so lovely, I think I’ll whip up a batch today. I have a senior in my house and it’s been a very stressful year so far. Seems like you have a nice outlet for relieving that stress by getting in the kitchen. Good luck with those acceptance letters.

  • 24. Deeanna  |  December 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I just got done making these cookies!

    I’m 18 and I’ve been cooking and baking since I was about 8 or 9. You’re pictures caught my eye and I had to make these cookies. They came out wonderfully. My parents keep raving about how good they are!
    Thank you, Elissa!
    P.S. The bagels that I saw on your blog are in the oven right now. So far so good.
    Wish me luck!

  • 25. Alexandra  |  December 28, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I made these for my christmas cookie tray and they taste wonderful… definitely the best gingersnaps I ever had! Thanks for sharing :) You’re rad.

  • 26. M&M  |  December 28, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the recipe, my gal and I baked em and it’s perfect for us college kids. We didn’t even have to run to the store, all the simple ingredients were hidden in the cabinet.
    You are talented! Keep up your passion.

    Mac and Mish

  • 27. Tisha  |  January 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I’d pretty much given up on baking Gingersnaps (since I couldn’t find a recipe I liked), but after reading how much you love these cookies, I decided to give them a try. In a word, they were AWESOME (much like your blog :) )

  • 28. Gingersnaps- Christmas in a cookie « Munchkitchen  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:18 am

    […] (adapted from 17 and Baking) […]

  • […] perfect? gingersnaps […]

  • 30. Olivia  |  March 1, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Hi! I tried this recipe and I would like to report that it is all you claim to be. Super delicious! The only tragic thing is that they didn’t have a long life span with my friends. :) Thanks for sharing!

  • 31. Michelle  |  March 23, 2010 at 1:20 am

    i just made gingersnaps for the first time a couple weeks ago and my recipe is really similar to yours so i know how you feel. amazing right? im from seattle too btw! i think ill be using the sour cream chocolate cake recipe for my sisters bday. thanks for the recipes!

  • 32. Connie Q  |  April 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Hi! I am also a HUGE fan of gingersnaps…and since going gluten-free last summer I’ve been craving them. I tried a different recipe, but they were terrible. I am happy to report that just by substituting my gluten free flour blend (brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca four, oat flour) + a tsp of xantham and a tsp of guar gum, I now have some awesome gingersnaps!
    They look perfect, with the trademark cracks on top…and they have the right texture inside, and not gummy! YAY!
    Thank you for a perfect cookie recipe!
    I also like the fact that they are made with canola oil, and no butter,
    since I am supposed to be watching my cholesterol! ;o)

    • 33. Jen P  |  October 18, 2010 at 9:17 am

      Hey my very good friend has celiac disease so she can’t have gluten either. I would LOVE the exact proportions of your flour mixture you used. If you wouldn’t mind sharing that is! I’d very much appreciate it as well I’m sure she will.


  • 34. bittersweetbaker  |  May 6, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Hi Elissa,

    I just made these cookies, and they’ve become my new favorite. I have lots of problems with my cookies cracking, but these cracked beautifully! And they come out just as perfectly round as you said they would.


  • 35. A New Favorite-Gingersnaps « Bittersweet Baker  |  May 8, 2010 at 1:11 am

    […] Recipe from 17 and Baking: […]

  • 36. June  |  May 13, 2010 at 2:41 am

    Heya girl! I’ve made these cookies 3 times already. The first time was a total success and i loved the taste. However, the next two times were horrible failures. The cookies did not spread out and it didn’t taste too good.

    The only change that i made was to use Olive oil instead of Canola oil…. =( Do you think that was the cause?

    • 37. Elissa  |  May 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      June – I’ve never tried making these with olive oil before, but I don’t think the two oils are completely interchangeable in baking… I think if you stick to the canola oil you’ll get the same success as you did the first time :) Let me know how it goes!

  • 38. Donna  |  May 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    You shouldn’t substitute olive oil. It is too strong of flavor to put into bakery items. Use vegetable, corn or canola oil.

  • 39. Lisa  |  May 21, 2010 at 9:53 am

    […] gingersnaps from 17 and Baking did not disappoint and are just as chewy, spicy and sweet as was […]

    Hi Elissa! I made these cookies and blogged about them. Delish! The perfect way to cope with my less than satisfactory SAT scores that came out yesterday =( Thanks for the recipe! The cookies turned out so well.

  • 40. bel  |  June 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    it is such a joy to open your oven to such perfection. they are just the most perfect looking little biscuits and as you said, biscuits tend to be temperamental little devils at best! i was positively beaming at their symmetry. i made several batches coating the balls of dough in sugar as you suggested and then i made one batch without the sugar as i found them just a little too sweet for my taste. but with or without, they were delectable! i owe you one for introducing me to this recipe! they are also lovely as a vanilla ice cream sandwich, i dipped half the sandwich in melted dark chocolate, sprinkled some with toasted chopped almonds, let the chocolate set in the freezer for a minute or so. they went down a storm! thankssssss

  • 41. Rebecca  |  June 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I made these yesterday to bring to school today for my math class. They were delicious and everyone else was impressed :D
    thanks for the recipe!

  • 42. Gingersnaps Revisited « Seattle Lunchbox  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    […] Gingersnaps (Slightly Adapted from 17 and Baking) Makes 2 dozen 2″ […]

  • 43. olivia c.  |  July 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    thank you sooooo much for this recipe!!!
    i have looked for the perfect gingersnaps for a long time and these are seriously PERFECT :)

  • […] Inspiration from and […]

  • 45. Gingersnaps | Sweet Pea's Kitchen  |  October 2, 2010 at 6:04 am

    […] Source: adapted from 17 and baking […]

  • 46. Elle  |  October 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Really wished the printer function on this website worked. LOVE gingersnaps and am thankful for this recipe. Print Screen should capture it! The best Molasses cookies so far I’ve ever had is from Borgen’s Cafe in Westby, WI.

  • 47. Tara  |  November 2, 2010 at 1:25 am

    You were right. These cookies.were.awesome. I was looking for something simple to make to cheer up my best friend and I couldn’t believe how good they turned out. I’ve never made cookies that came out looking so pretty. And absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • 48. hannah  |  November 2, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    i just made these and ate one while it was still a little soft. divine. then i ate one twenty minutes later. TWICE AS GOOD. i can see why these are your favorite cookies. i was skeptical of the amount of spices, especially a whole tsp. of cloves, but they are simply perfect. bravo!!

  • 49. Cappuccino Brownies  |  November 22, 2010 at 1:33 am

    […] think they would have been as special. I also whipped up a double batch of my all time favorite ginger molasses cookies (see older blog entries). These are so delicious. The goodies were a hit. Now I can rest (at […]

  • […] makes 4 dozen; adapted from 17 and Baking […]

  • 51. Tania  |  December 13, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Dear Elissa,
    I made two batches of these today, without the molasses because I couldn’t find any (I substituted maple syrup). They taste wonderful (although a bit sweet for my taste). However, I was puzzled that they didn’t flatten at all! They came out just as spherical as they were when they went into the oven… Any clues why that could be?

    • 52. Ione  |  September 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm

      Maple Syrup has a completely different consistency than mollasses does, maple syrup is also more sugary, so when it’s baked it tends to get ‘harder’ (like when you cook it down to put on snow for candy) whereas mollasses goes ‘softer’ and will actually let the dough it’s put into flatten out.

  • 53. Gingersnaps - Cookies - - Everything Nice  |  January 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

    […] Gingersnaps 17 and Baking  […]

  • 54. Baking Gingersnaps « OliveWildly  |  February 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    […] someone raves as excessively as she did in this post 17 and Baking’s Gingersnaps, I feel the peer pressure.  Caving, I trudged to the ever-hated grocery store to fill out my […]


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Elissa Bernstein

I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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