Sunday, December 8, 2013

Snapped Up – The Short But Sweet Gingersnap Obsession

I thought for sure this entry would be about something other than gingersnaps. I wanted to do something like challah bread (with which I'm having a metric tonne of trouble) , or honey buns, or doughnuts or cake. Anything but gingersnaps. Not that I don't like them; the fact that I love them is well-documented here. I just thought I was ready to move on to something else. But then it happened. I screwed up a batch of snaps that I was making to give to a friend who was in town for a visit. These were tasty but they didn't rise much, were hard, and were singed way too easily. Grumphgrumphgrumph and more grumph.

Nothing flips me into an obsession with a dish faster or harder than a screw up of something I should have down pat by now! I don't really get mad about the situation, unless we're using the classical definition of the word. I become mad about finding the problem and fixing it...and learning from my mistakes. This time it turns out that I needed to learn the exact thickness to roll out the dough, as well as the exact baking time, to make sure the cookies have the right snap yet retain a measure of chewiness. Not many thin gingersnaps have that quality, so I'm setting a pretty high bar for this.

The answers to this problem were actually very simple: roll out the dough right around 1/8 of an inch. It really can't be any thinner than that or else the cookies have too much snap and are prone to burning. As for the baking time, the previous botched batch was in the oven for eight-and-a-half minutes. My baker's-sense (not unlike spider-sense) warned me that eight minutes was the longest I should leave these cookies in the oven.

This fine-tuning gave me the gingersnap cookies I've been after for a while now: snappy and chewy, with not a single singed edge or bottom. I mailed a batch to my little sister, Miss Key, and her family and, according to her, they didn't last long. I also took another batch to share with some friends at dinner the other night and they emptied the carrying tin in short order.

I think I might have finally figured it out!

Currently listing to: Eartha Kitt - C'Mon A My House



  1. Before I even read the entry or even knew what you were up to with these, I said it ... Best damn gingersnaps EVER. Yes, what you said. Gingery enough to have a bite, but not bitter. Crisp but still soft enough to be chewy. LOVE!!!

    1. And I love that you love them! So, I guess this recipe and process are keepers....