Thursday, December 1, 2011

Alton Brown's Gingersnaps

It's Week 10 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and today also kicks off my quest for The Best Ginger Cookie by Christmas.

To me, the epitome of a ginger cookie is thick, soft, and chewy and bursting with full-on spiciness in every bite. So, when I saw that Alton Brown's Gingersnap recipe calls for triple ginger goodness - fresh, candied, and powdered, I knew that I absolutely had to include his recipe as one of my twelve. Besides, the man totally rocks and his recipes are always a success.

The one thing that makes his recipe different from all others I've seen is that it doesn't use any cinnamon at all. It does, however, have a little cardamom.

The cookies, once baked, were totally flat. I even chilled the dough and tried again, but they still turned into cookie pancakes. I wondered if my oven was to blame, but then I saw a picture of Alton Brown holding these cookies and his were flat too. So, I guess that's just the way these are meant to be (granted, they are supposed to be "snaps" after all). Despite the lack of thickness, these cookies were still nice and chewy with crisp edges and they stayed chewy for days after too.

They had a good gingery flavor that wasn't too strong. I kind of like my cookies with a little more kick to them but still found these to be quite tasty. My biggest recommendation regarding these cookies would be to let them sit for at least a day before you eat them, because the flavors do deepen with time.

Will these be the "best" cookie? It's too soon to tell. But, the quest is off to a yummy start. One down and eleven more to go!

Alton Brown's Gingersnaps (Food Network)

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. molasses
2 tsp. grated ginger
1/2 c. candied ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, clove and salt.

Place the brown sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg and fresh ginger and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add the crystallized ginger and using a rubber spatula, stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined.

With a 2-teaspoon sized scoop, drop the dough onto a parchment lined half sheet pan approximately 2-inches apart. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12 minutes for slightly chewy cookies or 15 minutes for more crisp cookies. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking.

Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to stay on the sheet pan for 30 seconds before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough. Store in an airtight container for up 10 days. If desired, you may scoop and freeze the cookie dough on a sheet pan and once frozen, place in a resealable bag to store. Bake directly from the freezer as above.


  1. They look like they would be perfect with a cup of tea.

  2. Those actually look and sound similar to the ones I was going to give you, though it wasn't Alton Brown's recipe. The recipe I used also had cinnamon but also some cracked black pepper which I surprisingly liked. If you don't have any recipes to try with pepper and you like a kick, make sure to try it in some!

  3. Oh I loved your chocolate chip quest and can't wait for this one! I love alton brown versions of recipes and can't wait to see how this one stacks up!

  4. I like my ginger cookies to have a good kick to them, too... I'm surprised the candied ginger didn't do that. Oh well - you've got lots more options to share, I'm sure :-D Can't wait to see them!

  5. I love Alton...looks like your cookies are fabulous. I think the flatness would make them perfect to put some ice cream between a couple and make some sandwiches!

  6. I like the fact that there isn't anything competing with the ginger in this recipe! They look scrumptious

  7. I love your cookie quests. Cannot wait to see what the 11 other yummy creations wills be.

    Come visit us on Friday 12/2. We have a wonderful giveaway from The Shappy Apple. C

  8. This sounds will be interesting to see what you come up with next!

  9. How do you let a cookie sit for a whole day before eating it? You have way more self-control than I!!
    I do love gingersnaps, I'm hooked on Dorie Greenspan's recipe but I'll have to give this a try.
    Have a great day. I've missed Sweet Saturdays, I'll have to get back in the groove.

  10. Lovely! I've never actually tried gingersnaps before but the pictures makes me want to try it

  11. 1 word.. YUM! i have been a terrible blogger buddy- but i am back again with merry mondays! hope you will join and hope all is well with you!

  12. Wow, this must be a cookie lover's dream post! Of all the classic cookie flavors, gingersnaps and chocolate are my favorites. Like you, I like my gingersnaps with a stronger gingery kick. So I think this is a recipe I'll like!