Crisp, freshly-baked gingersnaps, cooling in the kitchen, are sure to entice the whole family. Their appealing spice-laden aroma brings back for many of us, fond memories of the days when our own mothers and grandmothers were found in their kitchens baking such welcoming sweets for us.
Homemade gingersnaps recipe (1974)
Cinnamon, ginger and a touch of cloves were the spices in one famous gingersnap recipe which appeared years ago on a molasses bottle label. These temptingly delicious cookies always seemed to disappear quickly from the larder soon after baking.
Here, for you to try, is that same recipe, which results in an excellent homemade gingersnap with the traditional “crackle top.” The use of the iron-rich light or dark molasses as an ingredient helps blend the flavor of the spices, and also helps to make this cookie keep well when stored in a covered container.
The gingersnaps should be baked on a greased baking sheet and cooled on a wire rack for best results. Serve them with glasses of cold milk as an afternoon snack or with ice cream or canned fruit as a light suppertime dessert.
3/4 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup light or dark molasses 1 egg 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon salt Granulated sugar
In large bowl, cream together shortening and the 1 cup sugar. Add molasses and egg; heat well. Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt; add to first mixture. Mix well; cover; chill. Form into 1- inch balls, roll each in granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheets about two inches apart. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (375 F) for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove cookies to wire rack; cool. Makes 48 cookies.
Tennessee gingersnaps (1962)
3/4 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup light molasses 1 egg 2 cups sifted flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cloves 1/2 teaspoon ginger
Cream shortening and sugar. Add molasses and egg. Beat well. Sift dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.
Roll in small balls and dip in sugar. Bake 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen cookies.
Gingersnaps supreme (1977)
2 cups sugar 1 cup lard or shortening 1 cup molasses 2 eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 tablespoon vinegar Pinch salt 1 tablespoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water 4 cups flour, or enough to make a stiff dough
Cream the sugar and the lard. Add molasses, eggs, vanilla, vinegar, salt and soda-water mixture. Sift in the flour untll dough is stiff. Roll into 1-inch balls and dip in sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
3/4 cup shortening 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 egg 3/4 cup molasses 3 cups sifted flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons soda 1/2 teaspoon cloves 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ginger
Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and molasses. Beat well. Add flour sifted with salt, soda, and spices. Mix well. Chill in refrigerator. (This dough is soft and must be thoroughly chilled in order to shape.)
Form into small balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a cooky sheet. Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees F) 10 minutes. Store in a loosely covered container. Makes 10 dozen small, crisp cookies.
Great-Aunt Ruth’s favorite gingersnaps (1968)
Great-Aunt Ruth made such good gingersnaps, her recipe bears her name as it’s passed around to family and friends. Delicious baked either thick or wafer-thin.
4-1/2 cups flour 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 tablespoon ginger 2/3 cup shortening 1/2 cup sugar 1 beaten egg 1 cup molasses 1 tablespoon vinegar 2 tablespoons cold water
Sift into a bowl the flour, baking soda, ginger. Place to one side.
In another bowl cream shortening and sugar. then blend in egg. molasses, vinegar and cold water. Now add sifted dry ingredients. Knead and roll out, thick or thin, whichever way you like your gingersnaps. Cut in desired shapes.
Bake on cookie sheet in moderate oven (between 350 and 375 degrees) for about 10 to 12 minutes or until done.
Grandma Lyon’s gingersnaps (1963)
The recipe, over 100 years old, is said to have been copied just as a woman in Rapid City, South Dakota, originally received it from a relative.
1 cup sugar 1 cup dark molasses 1 tsp soda dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water 1/2 tsp black pepper 1 cup lard and butter 1 tablespoon ginger
Stir in as much flour as can be stirred in with spoon, not kneaded. Roll in balls the size of a walnut. Press down with hand.
Bake the gingersnaps at 350 degrees from 8 to 10 minutes.
Cream shortening, sugar and add eggs, molasses, baking soda and spices. Add flour. Form into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Do not overbake.
Bonus: Gingersnaps recipe from 1912
Soften one-half cup butter and mix it with one-half cup brown sugar; add one tablespoon lard and one cup molasses, then one teaspoon ginger, one-half teaspoon cloves, three ounces preserved orange peel, one teaspoon salt, one-half teaspoon soda dissolved in one tablespoon boiling water. Mix well and add one cup sifted flour; turn out on floured board, knead, roll out as thin as possible, cut and bake in a quick oven. To be crisp, they must be baked on a bright day.