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?

Hot and Spicy Gingersnaps

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

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Prep Time:30 min

Cook Time:8 min


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


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