These classic ginger spice cookies are kicked up a notch with chewy chunks of crystallized ginger, a gorgeous drizzle of icing and beautiful crunchy flecks of gold sugar on top, making the prettiest ginger snaps you've ever seen!
Just LOOK at these beauties...come on, how gorgeous are these ginger snaps?
And they are as delicious as they are beautiful. They are packed full of the warm spices you know and love in ginger snaps, like ginger (obvi), cinnamon, molasses, and a tiny zip of pepper, studded with chewy & spicy bits of crystallized ginger, and topped with sweet icing and crunchy sugar. So good.
These cookies are seriously addicting, but the beauty (or problem...depending on how you look at it) is that they're pretty small so you can have a few of them without feeling like you went overboard on the cookies.
You can also customize some of the elements to your liking. Because the dough is frozen and the cookies are sliced off a log, you can make the cookies rectangular or circular depending on which shape you like (I went with circular because my rectangles looked a little weird, haha). And depending on how thinly you slice them and how long you bake them, they can either be crunchy and snappy, or soft and chewy!
The recipe for these deliciously beautiful cookies came from my mom. She gave me a stack of handwritten recipe cards as a gift before our wedding (including this greek spinach pie and these bacon wrapped dates), and I absolutely love having some of our classic family favorites in my own arsenal. She's very artistic, so of course I could expect the prettiest ginger snaps to come from her!
If you're drooling for more delicious recipes, check out these awesome desserts!
Yummy noises await you!
This classic ginger spice cookie is kicked up a notch with chewy chunks of crystallized ginger, a gorgeous drizzle of icing and beautiful crunchy flecks of gold sugar on top, making the prettiest ginger snap!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 sticks butter, softened (1/2 lb or 1 cup)
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup half & half or milk
- about 2 Tbsp gold sugar, for garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, black pepper, white pepper and cayenne pepper, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add molasses and fresh grated ginger and beat again until combined. Gradually add dry ingredient mixture and mix until incorporated. Add chopped crystallized ginger and gently mix until just incorporated.
Line a 7x11 or 8x8 inch pan with plastic wrap, leaving enough extra plastic wrap hanging over the sides to completely wrap up the dough. Transfer the cookie dough into the prepared pan, cover with overhanging plastic wrap and press dough evenly into pan. Freeze overnight.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Remove the brick of dough from the freezer and cut lengthwise into 3 logs if you used a 7x11 pan, or 4 logs if you used an 8x8 inch pan (each log should be about 2 inches wide). For rectangular cookies, leave the logs in the block shapes, reshaping edges as needed to even out the shape. For circular cookies, roll the logs out into a cylinder.
Cut each log into 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick slices (thicker for chewier cookies, thinner for crispier cookies) and arrange on prepared baking sheets, leaving about an inch and a half in between each cookie. Return extra dough to the freezer while not using to keep it cold and firm.
Bake cookies for 7-12 minutes (less time for chewier cookies, more time for crispier cookies), rotating and switching position of pans halfway through baking time. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
In a bowl or measuring cup, add the powdered sugar, vanilla and half & half and whisk thoroughly to combine.
Once the cookies have cooled, push them close together on the cooling rack. Use a whisk or a fork to drizzle the icing over the cookies. While the icing is still wet, sprinkle cookies with gold sugar. Let set until the icing hardens.
Tips for making the icing look pretty:
- I prefer to mix the icing in a 2 cup measuring cup instead of a bowl, I like that it has a handle that I can easily hold with one hand while I drizzle with the other.
- My favorite icing tool is a mini whisk. I find that it goes on more evenly if I dip the whisk into the icing and stir once or twice to get some on there, lift the whisk up so that the first big glob of icing drops off back into the measuring cup, and then move the whisk over the cookies once the stream has evened out a little bit. Your first few passes may not be the prettiest, but you'll definitely get the hang of it!
- If the icing feels too thick you can add a tiny bit (i.e. a teaspoon, if that) more half & half/milk or water, but don't thin it out too much because you want the glaze to hold its shape on the cookies, and you also want it to dry & set up.
If the dough is getting hard to slice, pop it back in the freezer. It works best when it's really cold.
I found the gold sugar in the baking aisle of my regular grocery store near the sprinkles. If you can't find gold sugar you can substitute regular coarse sugar, but the coarseness is key because it adds a nice crunch to the top!
Recipe from my mom!