I love cookie-making with oil, because you get a light and perfect crisp cookie every time without the shenanigans sometimes involved using butter or margarine. Make no mistake, gingersnaps are not snappy if they are soft! Yet when you bake a butter or margarine cookie too long, sometimes they get a little too hard.
Apple Molasses and Vanilla Sugar are both extremely easy to make, and you should start a batch up of vanilla sugar now to tide you through the baking season! Both pair excellently with the traditional bold heat of ginger, giving you a fiery cookie with a sweet hint of cider and vanilla. Kick up the heat a notch with a pinch of pepper, if you dare.
But what gives the Gingersnap the traditional cracked top? Chilling the dough makes it easier to work with when you’re rolling balls, but it’s not essential. Neither is a couple of drops of water on top as I’ve seen some people claim. What IS required to get that perfectly cracked cookie is a blast of high heat that fully cooks the outside of the cookie before the inside is done. The internal pressure of the cookie rising forces the splits to form.
If you’re having trouble with the crackle, try flattening the cookies just a little less, stick to one sheet at a time to keep your oven from cooling down too much, and don’t open that oven door until you have to. If you still can’t get it to crackle, maybe your oven is lying to you about how hot it gets. Raise the temperature 5-10 degrees.
If you have to flip a tray around to get even baking, do it fast, fast, fast.
Apple Molasses Gingersnaps
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Cook time||10 minutes|
|Total time||30 minutes|
|Meal type||Dessert, Snack|
- 1/4 cup apple molasses (or regular molasses)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 pinch pepper (for extra bite)
- 1/2 cup vanilla sugar (or plain white sugar)
The secret to the classic gingersnap cracking is to not flatten the cookies entirely, keep them in high heat, and to disturb them as little as possible. Bake them one tray at a time to keep the heat high, and don't open the oven door if you can help it. If you must flip the sheet, be fast! If you still can't get the crackle, increase your oven heat 5-10 degrees and try again.
These cookies will fall apart if you attempt to move them off the tray too soon, so make sure you give them at least 5 minutes to cool (and finish baking) on the tray.
|Step 1.||With a mixer on low, combine the white sugar and oil until well blended. Add the apple molasses and egg and mix thoroughly. Blend the salt, baking soda, spices, and then the flour into the mixture until the dough begins to form a ball.|
|Step 2.||Set your vanilla sugar in a dish. Roll the dough into 1" balls and then roll each ball in the vanilla sugar. Place the sugared dough balls on an ungreased baking sheet 2" apart, and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.|
|Step 3.||Bake one sheet at a time in a preheated 350F oven for 8-10 minutes, disturbing as little as possible.|
|Step 4.||Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the sheet. Remove with a spatula and finish cooling on racks.|
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com.