Big, soft Ginger Snap Cookies are an old-fashioned classic cookie recipe. These ginger molasses cookies are an update on a classic with the perfect amount of spices and rich, dark chocolate chips mixed in.
Confession time. I really did not like these cookies growing up. With all the cookie making possibilities out there, why would one would settle on ginger cookies?!
Did I hate them enough to pass up a plate of them? Absolutely not. I mean, they are still cookies.
I wondered though, as I begrudgingly ate them, how ginger molasses cookies could be someone’s number one draft pick. Obviously they are missing a crucial element – chocolate.
Ginger Molasses Cookies did that funny little thing as I grew older. I came full circle and now I absolutely crave these magnificently spiced cookies. However I made an imperative adjustment – adding rich, dark, melty chocolate chips.
How Do You Make Ginger Cookies Chewy?
Chewy, soft cookies are another essential caveat of mine. When I make any cookie, I make a few small adjustments to make sure they hit the mark.
For more tips on baking crunchy, soft, or chewy cookies check out King Arthur Flour’s cookie baking tips!
- Use butter only – Cookies with shortening will be crispier.
- Substitute brown sugar for half the amount of granulated sugar – Brown sugar has a higher moisture content to make a softer cookie. These ginger cookies also have molasses, which is also a softener.
- Chill the dough – Chilling cookie dough makes them spread less during baking. A thinner cookie will bake a lot faster and risks becoming crispy.
- Slightly under bake – Pull the cookies from the oven when the edges are set and the middle is slightly undercooked. The timing of when to pull from the oven is the most important factor. Watch carefully, and always set the time for less than what recipe calls for.
- Use parchment paper – This also prevents the cookies from spreading and baking too fast.
Why are they called Ginger Snap Cookies?
Gingersnap cookies are traditionally made very crispy and are known to “snap” when bitten into. Crunchy ginger “biscuits” initially became popular in England and Germany.
Old fashioned ginger snaps were flavored with molasses because it was a more affordable ingredient than sugar. When the English colonized American they introduced their ginger cookie recipes to the colonies.
Recipes have adapted and changed over the years, some preferring a crunchy thin ginger snap and others loving a soft and chewy ginger cookie, but they are all richly flavored with ginger and molasses.
Freezing Ginger Snap Cookies
Ginger Cookies can be frozen either after or before baking.
To freeze after baking: Cool cookies completely on wire rack, making sure chocolate chips are set. Wrap 2-3 cookies in plastic wrap. Transfer wrapped cookie groups to a freezer ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw cookies on counter for about a hour.
To freeze before baking: Shape cookie into balls, roll in sugar, and place on cookie sheet (fit on as many as possible). Transfer cookie sheets to freezer. Once the dough is frozen, transfer balls to a freezer ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, place frozen balls on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake according to recipe, adding 2-3 minutes cooking time.
Gluten Free Ginger Snap Cookies
This ginger snap cookie recipe can also be made gluten free with great results! Simply switch out the all purpose flour for gluten free all purpose flour.
When baking with gluten free flour, the cookies might need an extra minute in the oven to set. You want to be careful with underbaking gluten free cookies because they could taste gritty.
When testing this recipe with gluten free flour I used my recommended brand, Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour.
HOW TO MAKE GINGER SNAP COOKIES RECIPE
- In a large bowl cream together room temperature butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla, egg, water, and molasses.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt.
- Gradually beat in flour mixture into creamed butter / sugar mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks or chocolate chips. For soft and chewy ginger snap cookies, chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour or freezer for 30 minutes.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to shape balls. Alternatively, roll into balls using your hands.
- Roll in dough balls 1/4 cups sugar. Transfer to baking sheet with parchment paper or ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes:
If you love these chewy ginger molasses cookies recipe, check out some more favorites from our kitchen!
- Kitchen Sink Cookies are flourless cookies with oatmeal, peanut butter, pretzels, chocolate, butterscotch, and M&Ms all wrapped up in one chewy cookie.
- Flourless Chocolate Cookies are an extremely decadent, chocolate fudgy cookie that takes only 5 ingredients to make!
- Easy Nutella Cookies are a three ingredient, naturally gluten free cookie stuffed with a chocolaty, fudgy center.
- Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies have it all! Crispy, chewy, soft and irresistible, they will quickly become your go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.
- Chocolate Filled Coconut Cherry Macaroons have a chewy coconut cherry exterior wrapped around a fudgy chocolate center and drizzled with more chocolate.
SAVE THESE SOFT MOLASSES COOKIES TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
Ginger Snap Cookies
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, regular or gluten free (my preference is Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks or chips
- 1/4 cup sugar, for rolling
- In a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, water, vanilla, and molasses. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt. Gradually blend in flour mixture, mixing on low speed. Stir in chocolate chunks. For best results, cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. If not using parchment paper, leave baking sheets UNGREASED.
- Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, or use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoon). Roll balls in sugar, then place on prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are set and middle is slightly undercooked.
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