There are a few things I very vividly remember about one of my childhood friends. One was sitting in her kitchen and her mom making these cookies for some event. We ate so many of them that her mom had to make another batch. Gingersnaps have been one of my favorites ever since.
Another thing is that I accidentally hit her in the head swinging a putter like a driver and had to stand in the ER and watch her get stitches.
It’s sort of hard to bring the conversation back to baking from that. But here goes…
A couple years later I got my due at summer camp and was hit in the eye with a tennis racket, and that required some mending. And a few days after that, the girl that hit me in the head with the racket forgot her sleeping bag on an overnight camping trip (???) and had to sleep wrapped in tin foil.
That’s all true. And doesn’t tin foil remind you of cookies?
Anyhow, this is still one of the favorite cookies in our house.
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook. New York: Macmillan, 1996. p. 122.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat or combination)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- about 1/2 white granulated sugar for rolling
- Mix the butter, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and egg until creamy. Then whip it up a little more. Mix in the four, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt until well combined. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least an hour. (Warning after about 3 hours, it becomes crumbly and harder to work with.)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees or 350 degrees if you are using a convection oven. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Shape the dough into round balls. If you make them all the exact same size and shape, all sorts of people will notice and make fun of you, so you choose. I make them about 3/4 inch in diameter (“about” might be an overstatement, they are exactly). Roll each dough balls in sugar so that it’s coated. Place the dough balls a couple inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Using a clean flat bottomed drinking glass (you can use your wine glass if you’re drinking), gently smoosh the dough balls to flatten them a little bit. Be gentle. If the glass starts sticking to the cookies, dip the bottom of the glass in the sugar and continue.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. At about 9 minutes they’ll be chewy and about 11ish they’ll start to be a little crispier, so whatever your preferences. Cool on a wire rack.