GINGERSNAPS // elspeth

The sugar this time of year...it can be a bit overwhelming. Whaddya say we throw a whole-wheat, muscovado gingersnap into the mix? One that has all the crisp and stretch that a gingersnap should?

It won't be entirely junk-free. We'll use some granulated sugar for rolling, and a whopping cup and a quarter of crystalized ginger. (What's in there? Unclear. It is Christmas time and I vote we don't want to know.) We'll load a bowl up with cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg and ginger, and then we'll use $3 worth of that fair trade deep dark barbados sugar and beat it into a thick batter with olive oil, molasses, and an egg. We'll chop the ginger up into fine little pieces, then mix it in to give stretch to the dough. 

And what will emerge will be these: thick, snappy cookies that are stiff around the edges and give in the middle. Perfect for giving, and hostess gifts, and eating on the couch beside the tree, dipped in milk.


I found this recipe on the website texanerin.com two years ago. I finally got around to trying it for the first time this weekend. While I wanted to believe that a whole-grain gingersnap could be all I dreamed it might, I wasn't convinced. I am now. These cookies are everything a gingersnap should be—earthy, sweet, and stretchy in the center, with a good bit of snap around the edges. I haven't tried it, but they would be excellent for making ice cream sandwiches. This recipe makes 12-16  good-size cookies.

2 and 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2/3 cup muscovado or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
1 and 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger
granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Combine the sugar, olive oil, and molasses in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat for 5 minutes on medium speed. Add the egg and beat another minute, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat another minutes. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix for another two minutes on medium, then add the ginger and mix until just combined.

Roll the dough into balls slightly smaller than golf balls. Flatten them slightly with your fingers, then roll them all over in the granulated sugar. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 13-15 minutes, until the cookies are almost but not quite set. They will keep cooking after they come out of the oven, and you don't want them overdone. Cool the cookies for 1-2 minutes on the cookie sheets, then use a spatula to move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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