While you may personally be partial to chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, or sugar cookies, gingersnaps are the most quintessential cookie jar cookie — they’re perfect for the job. They’re chewy but not so soft that they’d break in the jar, they taste even better with time, and they’re just the right size: not too big and not too small. And though they smell like Christmas, we think gingersnaps deserve to be baked and eaten all year round, especially when they’re dipped in white chocolate. You might think they’re too difficult to make on your own, but that’s far from the truth. If you have a little bit of patience, you can whip these cookies up easily.
Follow along as Chef Tara Rylie of RylieCakes breaks down all the steps to bake these cookie jar delights at home. We promise you, these white chocolate-dipped gingersnaps are even better than the ones your grandma used to make!
Gather your ingredients
When starting off with any new recipe, be sure to read the recipe first. Then, gather your ingredients. Though this may seem silly or unnecessary, being prepared with the right ingredients and knowing the steps ahead of time can save you a lot of headaches in the kitchen and keep you from making superfluous mistakes.
For this recipe, you’ll need butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, molasses, all-purpose flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, nutmeg, and white melting chocolate. Most of these ingredients are kitchen staples or at least super easy to find at the grocery store. White melting chocolate can be a tricky one, though. However, we found most larger grocery chains carry melting chocolate in the baking aisle. If you can’t seem to get your hands on them at the grocery store, large craft stores such as Michael’s often carry melting chocolate in various different flavors and colors.
When you’ve got all your ingredients ready to go, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two to three half-sheet pans with silicone baking mats. We recommend letting the dough chill for at least two hours if not overnight, so if you choose to chill overnight, preheating the oven isn’t necessary just yet.
All the right spices
Getting the spices just right is an absolute must for gingersnap cookies. In this recipe, we use a combination of ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Dry spices will most definitely do here, but you’re more than welcome to substitute in some fresh spices. For the nutmeg, you can grate fresh nutmeg yourself if you have it on hand. You can also finely mince fresh ginger in place of the ground ginger. Both of these options add even more depth of flavor to this recipe.
Other spices we’ve seen in gingersnaps are cayenne for spice, black pepper for a kick, and allspice, which is often used in place of ground nutmeg and/or ground cloves.
Cream your butter
The first step in most cookie recipes, as in this one, is to cream your butter and sugar. This recipe also includes shortening in the creaming process. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, you’ll beat the butter, shortening, and one cup of sugar until the mixture is light, fluffy, and nearly doubled in size. Creaming adds air to the cookie dough, which helps act as a leavener when baking.
The trick to creaming butter is using room-temperature ingredients and scraping the sides and bottom of your bowl often to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated. We chose to use shortening in this recipe as well because shortening has a higher melting point than butter. This allows products baked with shortening to hold their shape better in the oven, creating perfectly round cookies. Plus, shortening traps more air bubbles than butter when creaming, allowing baked goods to rise more and have softer centers.
Add your wet ingredients
Once you’ve creamed your butter, shortening, and sugar, add your egg, egg yolk, and molasses. Beat the wet ingredients into the creamed butter on medium speed until well incorporated, and then scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl with a spatula before moving on to the next step.
The addition of an extra yolk in this recipe adds just a little more fat to the dough. In the end, this extra fat makes the gingersnaps chewier and more tender. Though it may seem like overkill — why not add the whole egg? — adding just the yolks allows bakers to really fine-tune this recipe to perfection.
Add your dry ingredients and chill
Next, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl to combine. Then add the dry ingredients to your stand mixer bowl and beat them on low until mostly combined. Lastly, turn your mixer speed up to medium and beat for additional thirty seconds until the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated into the dough.
At this point, you’ll want to cover your bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and refrigerate the dough for at least two hours. However, it’s best if you chill it overnight. Chilling cookie dough allows the fat to solidify and therefore controls the spread of the cookies when baking.
Add a little more sugar
After you’ve chilled your dough, scoop it into tablespoon-sized portions. Then roll each portion in sugar and refrigerate the portioned dough for another thirty minutes before baking. This step is important to solidify the fat one last time before baking.
Bake your gingersnap cookies in a preheated oven for 14 minutes, rotating your pans halfway through to ensure even baking on all sides. Let cookies cool on sheet pans for about 10 minutes, after which you can transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool to room temperature before dipping them in the white chocolate.
One more pro tip: Rylie says she lightly smashes each cookie down before baking. Though not entirely necessary, it’s a good habit to have when baking cookies and helps create uniform, evenly spread-out cookies.
Dip the cookies in white chocolate
When the cookies are cool to the touch, they’re ready to dip. Place your melting chocolate in a small, microwave-safe bowl and heat in 45-second increments until fully melted. Stir chocolate in between increments to make sure it’s melting evenly.
Dip your cookies halfway into the melted white chocolate, and then tap each cookie on the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Place the dipped cookies back on the cooling rack. Continue this process until all the cookies have been dipped in melting chocolate.
Let the cookies cool one last time until the white chocolate hardens. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week.
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup shortening
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 (10-ounce) package white melting chocolate
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, shortening, and 1 cup sugar until light, fluffy, and nearly doubled in size.
- Add egg, egg yolk, and molasses. Beat on medium speed until combined.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, and nutmeg in medium bowl to combine.
- Add dry ingredients to stand mixer bowl and beat on low to combine. Then turn mixer speed up to medium and beat for an additional 30 seconds.
- Cover bowl and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours. The dough is best if chilled overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two to three half-sheet pans with silicone baking mats.
- Scoop dough into tablespoon-sized portions. Roll each portion in sugar. Refrigerate portioned dough for another 30 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven for 14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cool cookies on wire rack to room temperature.
- When cookies are cool, place the melting chocolate in small, microwaveable bowl and heat in 45-second increments until melted.
- Dip cookies halfway into white chocolate, and then tap cookie on edge of bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Place dipped cookies back on cooling rack. Continue process until all cookies have been dipped in melting chocolate.
- Let white chocolate cool until it hardens. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container on the counter.