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Friday, May 3, 2013

Pennsylvania Dutch Ginger Snaps

When I was a kid my grandmother used to buy these wonderful gingersnaps at our local grocery store. I have no idea what the brand was but they came in brown bags. They were very crisp and thin with a really big ginger burn.

I've always loved those gingersnaps and wondered how they got that "burn" on the back of the tongue. I've tasted all kinds of ginger and none of it had quite that kick. So, how do you accomplish a real ginger burn in a cookie?

The answer comes in the form of a tip I read long ago by a cookie chef: Cayenne pepper. Add a little cayenne to the mix wakes up the ginger and provides that delectable little gingery burn in the cookies.

I've made this recipe two weeks in a row. On week one I went strictly by the original recipe which is Pennsylvania Dutch. The second week I added the cayenne. The difference is simply amazing. With the cayenne you get a big hit of ginger flavor without "tasting" the cayenne itself.

Pennsylvania Dutch Gingersnaps

A wonderful gingersnap with a bit ginger taste courtesy a secret ingredient!

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup sugar + extra for rolling
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. unsulphured molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg or cloves
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and molasses and beat until combined and smooth. Sift together the spices, flour and baking soda and add to wet ingredients. Beat on low speed just until combined. Form into balls (about 1 tablespoon size) and roll in granulated sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes or just until edges begin to brown. Cool on wire racks.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 17 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen

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