I haven’t baked ginger snaps in years. Growing up, I baked ginger snaps in the winter using a recipe from Kirsten’s Cookbook. I may have been slightly obsessed with the American Girl dolls and their historical periods. I may not have gotten over the obsession with period recipes and stories.
The ginger snaps were crunchy and full of wonderful spice. I’ve updated the recipe from my memory to be a little more complex, adding a touch of nutmeg, some orange zest, and a roll in granulated sugar. The orange zest adds a further zing to the cookies, with the nutmeg mellowing out the ginger just a bit.
I love the soft center of the cookie juxtaposed with the crunchy outside! Tonight, I plan to leave a few out until they get nice and crunchy. This weekend, I will use the overly crunchy ginger snaps to make a crust for a pumpkin cheesecake instead of the traditional graham cracker crust. That is another reason why I decided to add the orange zest; I thought it would cut through the richness of the cheesecake really well.
Ginger Snaps with Orange Zest
(makes about 3 dozen cookies)
1 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. molasses
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. orange zest
1/2 c. granulated sugar (for rolling)
Mix together the first four ingredients – brown sugar, oil, molasses, and egg – until the sugar is completely integrated into the liquids. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients – flour through ginger. Slowly stir the sifted ingredients into the wet mixture. Stir in orange zest.
Form the dough into 1 inch balls, rolling them in your palms. Coast each ball in granulated sugar by rolling it around. Place on a baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each ball.
Bake in a 375 degree over for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be firm.