From Aunt Sharon’s Kitchen: Ginger Snaps

plate of ginger snap cookies

Ginger snaps are one of my favorite cookies – I love to make them, and my friends and family love to eat them. And you don’t have to wait until fall to make them either.

First some facts:

The popularity of ginger snaps goes all the way back to early 19th century – Mrs. H.L. Webster is credited as the creator of the first published recipe. The cookies went on to be produced commercially in the 1860s.

They were a commonly savored treat across the British Empire, so the folks in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and many others enjoy ginger snaps as a snack. Some call it “ginger nuts”.

Ginger snaps also work as a wonderful dessert topping for ice creams, sorbets, mousses and gelatos.

Indulgences aside, ginger is one of the most medicinally beneficial ingredients in the world. It is a natural decongestant and antihistamine, so you’ll see it as an element in many cold and flu remedies. It also reduces inflammation from arthritis, and helps in promoting healthy circulation of blood.

While fresh ginger has the strongest effect, and lasts up to 3 weeks when it’s not fully peeled, dried ginger has its benefits too. For instance, it’s popular as a natural remedy for motion sickness.

Why, might you ask, are they called “snaps”? Well, apparently, they were named so because they’re a snap to make! And I’d agree.

Here’s my recipe (it makes about 4-6 dozen cookies):

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup margarine or butter (I use Blue Bonnet)
  • 1/4 cup molasses (I use Grandma’s)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix the sugar and margarine in a bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. 
  • Blend in the molasses, egg and vanilla. 
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix well – this is your dough.
  • Put about 1/4 cup sugar in another bowl (you may need more). 
  • Roll the dough into 1-inch balls (I use gloves) and roll them in the sugar. 
  • Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes until they are golden brown. 

The way the cookies bake depends on your oven, so keep your eye on the them. They will puff and flatten. 

Leave them on the cookie sheet for approximately 1 minute and then cool on a wire rack.