Hot and Spicy Gingersnaps

With this recipe, I hereby declare that holiday baking season 2012 has officially begun.  And if I’m really being honest with you, I’ll admit that I actually started my holiday baking about 2 1/2 weeks ago! My Christmas decorations are completely unpacked and already strewn across the house. I love the Christmas holiday so much- you see-  that I stretch it into lasting as long as possible. Here’s my first holiday cookie recipe of the season: Hot and Spicy Gingersnaps

Way back when I was an active San Diego Junior Leaguer, we put together a cookbook to raise funds. This was one of the recipes I tested for that cookbook. It was tested and rated by 3 to 4 people, and it was deemed delicious enough to make the cut and appear in the finished book: California Sol Food (still available for purchase!).

A simple gingersnap dough is rolled into balls and then rolled in sugar.  Let me explain about the hot and spicy.  The “hot” in the recipe comes from the addition of cayenne pepper.  The “spicy” just refers to the typical spices found in a classic gingersnap cookie (ginger, cloves, cinnamon).


More details on the “hot and spicy” reference.
#1:  I don’t like spicy food.  My husband doesn’t like spicy food.  My kid won’t even try spicy food!  But we enjoyed these cookies!
#2:  I gave a cookie to my kiddo, let him eat it and then asked for his feedback.

  • me:   Are they spicy… as in spicy hot?
  • kiddo:  No.  Why, are they supposed to be?
  • me:  I added a little cayenne pepper in there.
  • kiddo:  Oh. (after a couple of minutes…)  Now I can taste it.  The heat comes through a couple minutes after you eat it, but it’s not super hot or anything.

When these cookies bake, they get the best crackles and crevices ever.  Check out those cookie crackles!  Pretty perfect.


So there you go- some gingersnap cookies that have a teeny tiny “bite” to them… makes ‘em kind of unique and special.  I have so many goodies in the works this year that I’ve never made before… some chocolate- caramel cookies, jelly sandwich cookies, vanilla cut-outs, and a couple of gluten free varieties too. I want to make some candies, a trifle and a gingerbread roll.  All of that and I’d like to lose about 8 pounds before Christmas.  Yeah, good luck with that one, right?  My secret… chewing lots and lots of gum and/or drinking green tea while baking!  And gifting a whole lot of treats!  What are you baking this year?

Print Print Recipe

Hot and Spicy Gingersnaps

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 8 min

Cayenne gives it that KICK... not too spicy, but just enough to make it have a little bite.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon (or more) ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces (brought to room temp)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 large egg whites
2 to 4 tablespoons granulated white sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl.

3. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar and beat until blended. Blend in the molasses. Add egg whites one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time and beat until blended after each addition.

4. Spread 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar on a small plate. Shape the dough into 3/4-inch balls and roll in the sugar until lightly coated. Arrange the balls 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment.

5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until brown. Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

More holiday treats from the blogs that you may enjoy making this season:
Easy Snowman Marshmallows by The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle 
Spiced Eggnog Cupcakes with Vanilla-Rum Swiss Buttercream by Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy
Peppermint Patties by Eat Real 
Homemade Double Chocolate Mint- Filled Oreos by Vanilla Sugar Blog
Peppermint White Chocolate Bars by Baked Bree 
DIY Peppermint Mocha by Confessions of a Bright Eyed Baker

Leave a Comment




54 Responses to “Hot and Spicy Gingersnaps”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 26, 2012 @ 3:05 AM

    I love gingersnaps and molasses cookies that get all crinkly and wrinkly like this, Lori! They look PERFECT! I would love to try one – and the kick I bet is extra good!

  2. 2

    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — November 26, 2012 @ 3:56 AM

    OH I love a little kick in a cookie! These look so pretty!

  3. 3

    marla — November 26, 2012 @ 5:35 AM

    Love the idea of crunchy cookie meets hot + spicy!

  4. 4

    Robyn | Add a Pinch — November 26, 2012 @ 5:59 AM

    LORI!!! What gorgeous cookies! And that little spicy kick? YUM!

  5. 5

    Cookbook Queen — November 26, 2012 @ 6:43 AM

    Gingersnaps are one of my favorites, and I love that this version has some heat!!

  6. 6

    TidyMom — November 26, 2012 @ 7:06 AM

    oh I bet these are fabulous with that little kick!!

  7. 7

    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — November 26, 2012 @ 7:19 AM

    Oh Girl, I could eat stacks and stacks of these. Whew, just trying to pace myself through the holidays and workout A LOT! ;)

  8. 8

    Heather @ Heather's Dish — November 26, 2012 @ 7:26 AM

    Yes oh yes oh yes! The spicier the better – I could down a whole batch by myself!

  9. 9

    Kim — November 26, 2012 @ 7:51 AM

    Just a FYI ~ In the ingredients it says 2 eggs, in step 3 of the directions it says egg whites, I’m guessing it should be just eggs. They look delicious and now I know what I will be baking this afternoon. Thank you!

  10. 10

    Lori Lange — November 26, 2012 @ 7:55 AM

    eek! It’s supposed to be “egg whites.” Just changed it. Thank you!!

  11. 11

    Sundi Jo — November 26, 2012 @ 2:44 PM

    This looks delicious! Love the detailed pics. Thanks for sharing.

  12. 12

    Julie @ Table for Two — November 26, 2012 @ 6:30 PM

    these are gorgeous, Lori! I love the perfect crackle on top!

  13. 13

    Joanne — November 26, 2012 @ 6:49 PM

    I LOOOVVEEE gingersnaps! They are one of my favorite holiday cookies. The cayenne addition is such a nice twist!

  14. 14

    Megan {Country Cleaver} — November 26, 2012 @ 6:55 PM

    Hellooooo Christmas cookies!! I have officially abandoned my cardinal rule of no Christmas before December 1st, when I broke out the mint chocolate chips, mint Oreos and Harry Potter movies. (Somehow HP always screams Christmas haha)

  15. 15

    Maria in NJ — November 27, 2012 @ 3:34 AM

    mz Lori have you been reading my mind? I have been looking for a good ginger cookie. But I have to say I am probably going to sub out the cayenne for white pepper cause that is what I have on hand. Did I tell you I got the “EAT CAKE FOR BREAKFAST” on Kate Spade for $129!!!!! the hubs bought it for me for CHRISTmas, I am going to wrap it…lol

  16. 16

    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — November 27, 2012 @ 5:45 AM

    yum! spiciness in a gingersnap? can’t wait to try!

  17. 17

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — November 27, 2012 @ 6:52 AM

    YUM!!! I love, love,love that you added Cayenne Peppers into your cookies ! I need these cookies! I’m making them as soon as i get home from work!!

  18. 18

    Jessica — November 27, 2012 @ 7:22 AM

    Should the butter be cut into pieces, then softened?? How else will it become light and fluffy?

  19. 19

    vanillasugarblog — November 27, 2012 @ 7:37 AM

    awww thank you Lori for the link love!
    xoxo
    (love the heat element in these too)

  20. 20

    Carlas Confections — November 27, 2012 @ 9:09 AM

    Oh I love how the gingersnaps crack like that. They are so pretty! I cant wait for all the holiday baking to begin!!

  21. 21

    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — November 27, 2012 @ 9:26 AM

    Gingersnaps are one of my favorite Christmas cookies. And the spicier the better! I never would have thought to add cayenne, but I bet it packs a bigger punch than the chopped candied ginger I usually use…

  22. 22

    Ashley@BakerByNature — November 27, 2012 @ 10:01 AM

    I am a major fan of christmas too – we’ve had our decorations up for 2 weeks haha! These cookies look like perfection, and I can almost smell them baking up!

  23. 23

    Kari — November 27, 2012 @ 11:43 AM

    Do you think these would freeze OK? Or maybe I should freeze the dough instead.

  24. 24

    Lori Lange — November 27, 2012 @ 11:49 AM

    Yes, I think they’d freeze just fine. Just seal them up well!

  25. 25

    Jessica — November 27, 2012 @ 11:51 AM

    These sound SO good Lori! I love the combo of flavors!

  26. 26

    Tina | My Life as a Mrs — November 27, 2012 @ 1:31 PM

    Yes. Please. Love the idea of the cayenne kick!

  27. 27

    Lori Lange — November 27, 2012 @ 1:52 PM

    yes- room temp is good.

  28. 28

    Marina@Picnic at Marina — November 27, 2012 @ 1:59 PM

    Oooo, looks so good! I love cracked cookies!

  29. 29

    Cristina — November 27, 2012 @ 2:03 PM

    I’ve been looking for a really good gingersnap cookie recipe. How timely for me!! Thanks for sharing, Lori. Looks and sounds delish! Let baking season 2012 officially begin! :)

  30. 30

    Renee - Kudos Kitchen — November 27, 2012 @ 3:56 PM

    I recently made (and posted) my own gingersnaps cookies. I made them specifically to make sauerbraten gravy but also made some which I rolled in sugar. I added nutmeg to the dough for a little extra oomph but I do love your addition of cayenne pepper, especially for a savory application such as sauerbraten gravy! Next time :)

  31. 31

    Lisa — November 27, 2012 @ 4:18 PM

    Sounds great! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  32. 32

    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life — November 28, 2012 @ 6:10 AM

    What a fun idea to put cayenne pepper into the gingersnaps! They are so pretty looking too!!!

  33. 33

    bridget {bake at 350} — November 28, 2012 @ 7:34 AM

    Lori, Lori, Lori…you are speaking to my soul! My heart leapt just a little bit looking at these pictures! I love the cayenne addition! Making these for SURE!!!

  34. 34

    Debora Cadene — November 28, 2012 @ 10:26 AM

    I’m making these right now. I was wondering what will happen to the recipe if you add the whole egg instead of the whites though. I didn’t do that, but wondered.

  35. 35

    Lori Lange — November 28, 2012 @ 10:29 AM

    too much egg! The batter will be far too wet.

  36. 36

    Maria — November 28, 2012 @ 11:13 AM

    What a fun holiday cookie!

  37. 37

    Debora Cadene — November 28, 2012 @ 11:37 AM

    I am in the midst of making these, and am wondering how you tell if they are done or not. I used my small cookie scoop, which is 2 tablespoons, and they took about 15 minutes…but I don’t know if they were done before that. They do however taste freakin amazing and I love the spice in them. I cut the balls in half and I think they ended up taking about 12 minutes… Have I waited too long for them? Not sure if they are supposed to be a crisp cookie, a chewy one or a soft texture……

  38. 38

    Jaime [5 to 9 Foodies] — November 29, 2012 @ 8:09 AM

    I’ve GOT to make these for the holidays! My husband’s favorite cookies are gingersnaps and I just love how fancy they look when they get crinkly like this. Perfect for a cookie gift basket — if I can sneak them away from my husband. Thanks for the recipe!

  39. 39

    Meghan — November 29, 2012 @ 7:26 PM

    Perfect crackle & I love that little kick from the cayenne!

  40. 40

    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — November 29, 2012 @ 8:35 PM

    Oooooh, one of my favorite Christmas cookies! Love the spicy kick!!

  41. 41

    marina (yummymummykitchen.com) — November 29, 2012 @ 9:22 PM

    This has got to be the perfect holiday cookie. Yum!

  42. 42

    Christie {Pepper Lynn} — November 30, 2012 @ 12:44 AM

    I’m digging the cayenne in these cookies, Lori! I’m not big on super spicy food myself, but the gentle heat that builds over time, I’m definitely into that. Thanks for sharing!

  43. 43

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — November 30, 2012 @ 3:13 PM

    I love cookies like this! I usually add crystallized ginger to mine. That really turns up the heat :)

  44. 44

    Cara B — December 2, 2012 @ 1:17 PM

    Just made these cookies and they are amazing! Thank you! I made them exactly as your recipe said, and I can’t wait to give these to some people for Christmas… (but I may eat them all before I can!). The Cayenne pepper just adds that perfect zip to these! Great recipe!

  45. 45

    Juli P — December 2, 2012 @ 6:22 PM

    I made these for an event and they received rave reviews. They are just the right amount of soft and chewy – plus the cayenne adds an unexpected treat.

  46. 46

    Lisa Cornely — December 3, 2012 @ 8:31 PM

    I baked these yesterday and they were delicious. They were the perfect texture, and so flavorful. I had never made gingersnaps myself and I am so glad I found your post. Thanks for another wonderful recipe Lori.

  47. 47

    Whitney — December 8, 2012 @ 10:09 AM

    Hi there. I just wanted to pop over and say nice job with this recipe–I am making them now as part of my holiday baking list. I added chili powder instead of cayenne (didn’t have it) and used two teaspoons of ginger. They are wonderful and bake nicely–though mine spread a bit more than the photos, but they are delicious. Selfishly speaking, I like mine spicey so next time I might add more ginger or chili

  48. 48

    Sandy — December 8, 2012 @ 1:42 PM

    I have never made gingersnaps, just made these and they turned out amazing! Taking them to our church Christmas party tomorrow night. I didn’t have any molasses so I substituted some cane syrup molasses that my neighbor gave me. Thanks for sharing!

  49. 49

    Stacy — December 16, 2012 @ 8:26 AM

    These are simply amazing. I love the kick and they bake so well…a true winner. Yum!

  50. 50

    Arwen — December 17, 2012 @ 6:50 PM

    We made these and they are probably one of the best of this type I’ve ever had. Definitely doing this again. Thanks.

  51. 51

    Debbie — December 19, 2012 @ 7:49 AM

    Just made these and they are perfect. I love gingersnaps and am always trying a new way to make them, but this is my recipe from now on. Finally a recipe that is spicy enough for me–I admit I was heavy handed on the ginger and cayenne!

  52. 52

    Aimee — December 24, 2012 @ 4:02 PM

    Perfectly spicy and delicious! I have my last batch cooking at the moment. I can’t wait to have a couple with a big mug of cinnamon tea tonight at work. I will be making these again.

  53. 53

    Brian — December 17, 2013 @ 1:57 PM

    I had to throw these out, way too much cayenne and they were too doughy.

  54. 54

    Katie — December 26, 2013 @ 5:30 PM

    These are the best gingersnap cookies I’ve ever had. I made them for my family for Christmas and they fell absolutely in love, and they’re super picky with sweets!
    Thanks so much for the recipe!