Need easy holiday baking? These are the gingersnap cookies I grew up making. They’ve got nothing fancy or special in them, just the basic ingredients that your grandmother might have had on hand. I know this because it’s a grandmotherly recipe, from generations ago when grandmas had things like flour and butter, powdered ginger and molasses in their pantries just as sure as gingham cloths on their kitchen tables.
As you might imagine, the process is simple. You could even bring the dough together in stages, here and there as it fits around the pillars of your day. Often, that’s where time is hiding. Measure and mix the dry ingredients while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil in the morning, for example. In the evening when dinner’s in the oven, cream the wet ingredients and combine with the dry. Chill the mixer bowl of dough in the refrigerator while you’re eating dinner—not because it needs it, but because you can. Come evening, preheat the oven, scoop the dough, and bake the cookies. Little tricks that make it almost seem like they came out of nowhere. In the middle of the week before Christmas, that’s a good thing.
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine. Put 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into walnut size balls, then roll in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. If you want chewy centers and crispy edges, bake less. If you want snappy gingersnaps, bake more.