Gingersnap cookies with fresh ginger

January 11th, 2012 | Posted by greg in Daily life... | Recipes

Reading about the virtues of ingredients often keeps me in absolute awe when finding out what Mother Nature has created for us, and yet, most of the time we barely know about it.

Ginger is the cure of many illness, yet, it is prominent in arthritis treatment and most of all motion sickness and nausea. Of course, eating a rhizome of ginger isn’t as pleasant as swallowing a pill! And when it comes to food, I could add ginger and its far-away-cousin galangal in pretty much anything, I love it!

The cold season being upon us, I thought interesting to share my recipe of gingersnap cookies. The shortbread will help you survive the harsh winter temperatures, especially if you dare indulging yourself with a scrumptious cup of hot chocolate at the same time!

Gingersnap cookies. A name that I never really heard before. Perhaps because I’m Swiss and French speaking… so Gingersnap sounds more like the name of a cat in a Christmas movie. Nevertheless, I can recall very clearly baking those at home with my Mom, it was a bit different and we simply called them sablé au gingembre and made them with brown sugar and dried ginger powder, but didn’t have any molasses in the recipe. They were really good with that uncommon ginger flavor and so exotic for us, living a world of jam and chocolate in the heart of the Swiss Alps!

What I love about those cookies is the blend of molasses, brown sugar and the sharp sting of ginger that rounds up all the flavors. Usually, we bake those with dessicated ginger powder; it’s practical, fast and easy to measure, but I thought nice to use fresh ginger for a change. There are no massive differences in flavor, but after adapting a little the recipe because of the increased water content from the fresh ginger juice, I’ve found the flavor of the roots to be more round and more pleasant… Much less aggressive than when using the powdered form of the rhizome.


  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 45 gm freshly grated ginger (including the juice and the flesh)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 200 gm soft butter
  • 130 gm dark brown sugar (I used muscovado)
  • 120 gm white sugar
  • 70 ml molasses (Also works with dark malt or maple syrup, but gives you a different flavor)
  • One large egg
  • 370 gm 420 gm cake flour (I edited it to have a better round shape!)
  • 2/3 of a teaspoon of baking soda (find out more on baking soda!)
  • Half a teaspoon of salt


  1. Mix the soft butter with  both sugar and mix it well without whipping.
  2. Add the molasses and the egg and blend to the butter mixture.
  3. Mix the baking soda, salt and flour together and add it to the butter.
  4. Finally, add the spices, including the freshly ground ginger.
  5. Work it as a dough and store it in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
  6. Once set, shape rolls of dough of about 3 cm in diameter (it will expand during baking)
  7. Roll the tubes of dough into brown or white crystal sugar.
  8. Cut slices of about 1 cm thick and place them on a baking tray with silicon paper.
  9. Bake at 190 Celsius for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

I love dipping them in hot chocolate or coffee… but be careful, it’s highly addictive! :)

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19 Responses

  • Jyslouey says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.  I”m going to give this a try

    • You are most welcome! :)
      I hope you will enjoy the gingersnap cookies!

      • Jyslouey says:

        You know, I  recently started putting the juice of freshly grated ginger in my tea with milk and sugar, very warming and tastes something  like the Marsala Chai tea from India!!

        • Sounds very nice! And as you say this, I have some palm sugar from Laos on my desk which I just received and I am thinking ginger and palm sugar would work really well, even in milk tea maybe! :)

          • Jyslouey says:

            I finally made the cookies last nite but they definately did not come out as evenly shaped as yours, they looked more like choc. cookies because I used dark muscovado sugar and a little over 2 tbsp of molasses which made it look very dark, but they were still yummy, even if lacking in looks. :) I’ll def try again using light muscovado next time.  Thanks again for the recipe.

          • Sounds delicious! :) Yes, the shape basically depends on the mix of sugar and molasses used. I think you are right, it depends on different brand/kind of ingredients.

          • Jyslouey says:

            Tried again with light Muscovado and and a tad less molasses.  I wrapped the semi-chilled dough in cling wrap and pulled it through a round cookie cutter (like a sausage) a couple of times to make sure it was rolled tight and evenly shaped and the dough was well chilled before baking.. They were more even in size but still thin round the edges, unlike yours which are firm and thick, which explains why you’re the master chef, and I’m not  :). “sigh”     

          •  I think you would need to increase the flour a little to make  the dough more firm. Then, it will definitely stay in straight shape! :)

  • Deb says:

    I am currently enamored with fresh ginger! To the point of making my own candied ginger and using the sugar syrup in cooking. Looking forward to trying this cookie recipe, a perfect winter treat.

    • Great to hear that! Candied ginger is also lovely, we also use it a lot in macaron, cake base, chocolates – it really matches many flavors and give a great edge to our creations! Our latest one using it was a lemon and ginger macaron; a filling made of lemon curd with chopped candied ginger. Lovely tangy and spicy match! :)

  • I love the idea of using fresh ginger in these – I bet it adds a beautiful freshness and zing! And the other ingredients sound gorgeous too – dark, rich, sugary and delicious :-)

  • Going to make these because of the fresh ginger.  I always felt dried ginger is never tangy enough and wondered about using fresh instead.  I saw your recipe yesterday and then later in the day saw America’s Test Kitchen program using fresh ginger for their spice cake because again they thought dried lacked punch.  Looking forward to tasting how different it will be. thanks Gregoire x

    • Gregoire Michaud says:

      Sounds great Az! Thanks a lot :)
      I think depending on the type of sugar and molasses used + the quantity of juice from the fresh ginger you might need to adjust the flour a little. Judy tried and said the dough was a bit soft (see comment above).
      Looking forward for your feedback on the recipe! :) xx

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  • Ms. Fanny Chan says:

    I tried this recipe last night. And I found that the cookies expand a lot during baking. And the shape doesnt go well. is it too much baking soda? 2/3 tsp= approx. how many gram of baking soda?

    • greg says:

      Hi Fanny, I think it depends on how much juice the ginger brings. If it’s high, the dough will probably be too soft and expand a lot. I suggest to try reducing by half the fresh ginger and add dry ginger powder to obtain a more firm dough, then it will stay in good shape! Hope this helps :)

  • kim says:

    🙋 Can I freeze these cookies?

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