Grandma’s Gingersnaps

Cookies are making a comeback around here. Gingersnaps have always been one of my favorite cookies—I love that combination of chewy and crunchy paired with the comforting depth of molasses and a touch of spice to round things out. This is a slight variation on my grandma’s recipe. It was passed down to my mom when she set off on her own in a box full of recipes from my grandma with this note:

Whatever you wish

I wish for you

Whatever you plan

I hope for you

Whatever you do

I hope your success

Will bring you heaps of happiness

My mother passed away years ago due to cancer, and I have turned to this recipe box many times for solace and a connection with her. Yesterday it came out in search of that gingersnap recipe, and as always memories of being with her in the kitchen came flooding back.

I’m so fortunate today to still have my grandma in her 90s, and to live close enough to see her every week now… as well as her two lovely daughters who live nearby. I’m full of gratitude for this time we have together, and for the time I had with my mother while she was alive.

Ingredients (yield: 3 dozen)

  • 3/4 C butter
  • 1 C raw sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 2 C sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • raw sugar and chopped candied ginger for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg and molasses.
  4. Sift dry ingredients together and gradually mix with wet ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Chill dough if it’s too soft, then form 1″ balls and roll in sugar topping.
  6. Placed on greased cookie sheet about 3″ apart and place a piece of candied ginger in the center of each.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then remove and cool on wire rack.

Grandma says these are best made when it’s cool outside, or they will stay soft. And grandma always knows best, trust me!

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