Here’s my first holiday cookie recipe of the season: Hot and Spicy Gingersnaps
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.
Way back when I was an active San Diego Junior Leaguer, we put together a cookbook to raise funds. These Hot and Spicy Gingersnaps were 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).
When these cookies bake, they get the best crackles and crevices ever. Check out those cookie crackles! Pretty perfect.
Are these cookies hot and spicy?
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 enjoy these cookies!
#2: I gave a cookie to my kiddo, let him eat it and then asked for his feedback.
- me: Do these Hot and Spicy Gingersnaps taste spicy to you… 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.
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?
Here are a few more spicy recipes you might like to try:
- Spicy Beer Pickles
- Spicy Vegetarian Chili
- Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Spicy Cucumber Stacks
- Spicy Shrimp Ramen Bowls
- Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Spicy Pork
- Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans
Hot and Spicy Gingersnaps
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (or more) ground ginger -- if you like a strong flavor, add more!
- 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, at room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 large egg whites
- 4 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and cayenne pepper.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and white sugar and beat until blended. Blend in the molasses. Add the egg whites and beat until well-combined. Add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time and beat until blended after each addition.
- Spread the rolling 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 the prepared baking sheets.
- 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.
Great Recipe, very addicting cookie for sure! Question, how long do they stay fresh stored/sealed at room temperature? I am only 1 week out from gifting, don’t want to freeze. Store in Refridge? or Room temp, thanks in advance for your suggestion!
I always bake ahead and freeze. Just put in an airtight container or freezer zip. They should be fine to gift after freezing.
Going to make this the week. When my boys were young Iade regular ginger snaps for me because they disliked them. Now all in their 30’s this is the cookie they request BUT they want is spicier so they will get these this year. Just have one question why not whole eggs? Thanks!
Probably has something to do with the texture.
I ate the whole batch myself. I’m addicted!
Made this today Used a number 30 scoop for a good size cookie Bake for 18 minutes Turned out fantastic
I finally found a recipe that resembles good quality store-bought ginger snaps! These are awesome. Did not change one thing. Added a little bit of grated fresh ginger.
My husband and I are fans of spicy gingersnaps. This recipe is it. I do bake a bit longer to achieve the crispiness desired. Cut back a bit on the sugar. This makes a lot. Dough freezes well. I froze a log and sliced and baked in the air fryer for a quick treat. Was good but definately better when I oven baked the rest.
I love this recipe. Have made them many times. I double the pepper, double the ginger and do a heaping cinnamon. The rest I do the same. Always delicious.
I won a baking competition at work with these cookies and I’ve shared the recipe with no fewer than 20 people. My bosses wife was going to mix ginger snaps from her Christmas cookie repertoire. I send one of these home with him to have her try, along with the recipe, and she immediately dumped the batch from her recipe in the trash and now makes these every year. They are a huge hit. I tried doubling the. Arch once and the texture was different, possibly due to it being harder to stir the larger batch, so now I just do one batch at a time.
Great to hear!
THIS is the recipe from my long ago childhood, it is exactly what I remember mom’s spicy gingersnaps tasted like when she would bake them for Christmas.
I will NEVER lose this recipe, nor bake any other gingersnap cookie recipe.
My heart is so full right now 😀
These are the absolute best! I had a hard time finding a recipe that was spicy enough and these are perfect! I also added a Tbsp of minced fresh ginger. So yummy!
My dad loves gingersnap but have never been able to find a spicy one for him until now! He loves this recipe, but the 8 min baking time was not long enough for the crunchy level he likes so I baked them 11 min and set on the pan for 2 min to cool and that got them closer so the next time I Ann going to try 12 min but the flavor is spot on !
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!
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.
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!
We made these and they are probably one of the best of this type I’ve ever had. Definitely doing this again. Thanks.
These are simply amazing. I love the kick and they bake so well…a true winner. Yum!
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
I love cookies like this! I usually add crystallized ginger to mine. That really turns up the heat 🙂
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!
This has got to be the perfect holiday cookie. Yum!
Oooooh, one of my favorite Christmas cookies! Love the spicy kick!!
Perfect crackle & I love that little kick from the cayenne!
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!
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……
What a fun holiday cookie!
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!!!
What a fun idea to put cayenne pepper into the gingersnaps! They are so pretty looking too!!!
Sounds great! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
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 🙂
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! 🙂
Oooo, looks so good! I love cracked cookies!
Yes. Please. Love the idea of the cayenne kick!
These sound SO good Lori! I love the combo of flavors!
Do you think these would freeze OK? Or maybe I should freeze the dough instead.
Yes, I think they’d freeze just fine. Just seal them up well!
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!
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…
Oh I love how the gingersnaps crack like that. They are so pretty! I cant wait for all the holiday baking to begin!!
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!!
yum! spiciness in a gingersnap? can’t wait to try!
I LOOOVVEEE gingersnaps! They are one of my favorite holiday cookies. The cayenne addition is such a nice twist!
these are gorgeous, Lori! I love the perfect crackle on top!
Yes oh yes oh yes! The spicier the better – I could down a whole batch by myself!
Oh Girl, I could eat stacks and stacks of these. Whew, just trying to pace myself through the holidays and workout A LOT! 😉
oh I bet these are fabulous with that little kick!!
Gingersnaps are one of my favorites, and I love that this version has some heat!!
LORI!!! What gorgeous cookies! And that little spicy kick? YUM!
Love the idea of crunchy cookie meets hot + spicy!
OH I love a little kick in a cookie! These look so pretty!
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!