Ginger Snaps

Total Time:
45 min
30 min
15 min

about 4 dozen cookies

  • 9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces molasses, by weight
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 ounces finely chopped candied ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, clove and salt.

Place the brown sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg and fresh ginger and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add the crystallized ginger and using a rubber spatula, stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined.

With a 2-teaspoon sized scoop, drop the dough onto a parchment lined half sheet pan approximately 2-inches apart. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12 minutes for slightly chewy cookies or 15 minutes for more crisp cookies. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking.

Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to stay on the sheet pan for 30 seconds before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough. Store in an airtight container for up 10 days. If desired, you may scoop and freeze the cookie dough on a sheet pan and once frozen, place in a resealable bag to store. Bake directly from the freezer as above.

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    87 Reviews
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    This recipe makes phenomenal "magic" cookies using your special butter.
    These are, without doubt, the best ginger cookies EVER! I followed the directions exactly, even purchasing a scale and a cookie scoop and some CARDAMOM. Awesome smell cooking, wonderful taste and texture in the mouth, delightful aftertaste. We made these in double batches back-to-back about four times, and never tired of them. NOW, Alton, help me make them GLUTEN-FREE for my daughter! We tried just substituting GF baking mix for the regular flour, but the rsults were not the same. I have a lot to learn. Help! :-)
    I had to improvise and substitute more brown sugar for the molasses and omit the ground cardamom. Notwithstanding, the result was absolutely delicious. The triple forms of ginger made these ginger-y enough to my ginger-lover's heart's content. I will note that, for me, these cookies spread a LOT, so I ended up cutting out shapes after it got out of the oven so that it would look more uniform. Gifted the uniform shapes, and saved the "scraps" for me! 
    Yummy! Made these without the fresh ginger (didn't have any) and did 6 oz of the candy ginger, still turned out great. Also forgot to add baking soda in the first batch, tuned out nice and chunky, still delicious. Second batch, looked like they can straight from the store, perfect! Try it if you're a ginger lover
    These are my new favorite cookies. I followed the recipe exactly- weighed the ingredients as AB suggests. I baked mine on a silpat for 12 minutes (rotated cookie sheet after 6 minutes) on the middle rack. They are just slightly chewy with a perfectly crisp edge. So gingery-spicey... fantastic! Just before baking, I dipped them in a bit more of the chopped crystalized ginger -- so they have pretty little shimmering bits on top. They look beautiful stacked in a cellophane bag tied with a piece of twine...
    Love, love, love these. Seriously ginger gingerbread. I think I'm going to try making them into bar cookies iced with cream cheese frosting with the crystallized ginger on top instead of in the dough. 
    By the way, I highly recommend Trader Joe's for candied and crystallized ginger, dried fruits and nuts. Way cheaper, and excellent quality!
    A M A Z I N G!! I couldn't find candied ginger anywhere so I omitted it from the recipe and just added a bit more ginger spice and fresh ginger to make up for the loss. They came out wonderfully and I have saved this recipe for later use...I plan to make more for the coming holidays. I used a cookie scoop for uniformity and so that they all cook in the same amount of time. I also doubled the recipe and it yield about 60 cookies! Thank you, Alton Brown!
    Yes, candied ginger can be expensive. Any spice is ridiculously expensive when bought in the spice aisle at the grocery store in those little bottles (as are those tiny little bags of nuts). Find a grocery store in your area that has a good bulk section. My grocery store has a wonderful bulk section. Candied ginger is $6 a POUND, about the same price those dinky 2 oz jars cost. I get all my spices (and decant them into those little bottles I saved) and nuts there for a fraction of the price. 
    Now that the PSA is over ;)...These are wonderful. I am a ginger fanatic. You will find all three forms in my kitchen at all times, and used in many ways in my cooking and baking. These cookies are to die for. I may never try another ginger snap recipe, and I've tried a lot of them.
    Excellent! Note: had to decrease the time by 1 minute (to 14 minutes) after the first batch (witch turned out perfectly). The rest were perfect. We like them crispy. Will use this recipe again and again!
    Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to stay on the sheet pan for 30 seconds before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.???
    they need time to solidify before you try to lift them. lifting when they're too warm means they run the risk of falling apart. cooling for 30s allows them to firm up enough to lift, then get them off the pan because as they cool, they could build condensation underneath and end up soggy (either that or they'll laminate themselves to the pan).
    Made these for my friends birthday! YUM, they are very good! Next time I make them though I will add more ginger as I like more spice.
    These cookies are addictively delicious. My son ate 4 in one go (3 year old downed 2 cups of milk then asked for more. This recipe is definitely a keeper and it certainly makes enough cookies to make it worthwhile to spend that extra time weighing everything. 
    Note: I used a convection oven and 350 @ 12 minutes resulted in the first batch slightly burning (still edible - but wouldn't serve to guests. I lowered the temp to 325 and baked them for 12 minutes to get nice soft cookies for the later batches.
    Outstanding! I made with 1/2 whole wheat flour and you couldn't tell the difference. Next time I will replace with all whole wheat. My new go to cookie!
    Keith, Bed Bath and Beyond carries Biggest Loser's scale very accurate( I tested it on 15-20 items of known weight) oz. or grams $7.00!
    Excellent - I made them twice so far. Second time I doubled the fresh ginger, 'cause I like spicy ginger taste (I also made and highly recommend Alton's Ginger Ale, which is really ginger beer (mildly alcoholic. I bake the cookies 15 minutes - I like them crispy. Also, buy a kitchen scale - you can get one for $20, and it will last you forever. I will continue to bake these cookies, rather than buying ginger snaps at a store - they are easy to make and really really good!
    OMG! Totally addicting with a cup of tea or glass of milk. I made these exactly to recipe and they were thin (as should be, crunchy, and delightful. The triple ginger made these cookies sing. It was so surprising and pleasant to experience the zing of biting into a tidbit of grated or crystallized ginger. This recipe is now in my cookie repertoire forever. The only downside is that I could not convince people who have decided that they don't like ginger snaps because their only experience has been store bought ones, to try them. Which, come to think of it, is an upside. More for me!
    So good! I followed the recipe exactly the first time, and decided I'd try them without the candied ginger the next go around. I also added a step by rolling the dough balls in granulated sugar before baking. So crispy and delicious! Remember to use fresh dried spices, because they will go "off" after time and either lose potency or become bitter.
    Wow. These are the best cookies I have ever tasted. I brought some to a foodie neighbor the other night and she called me for the recipe the next day. That's just how great they can be. Alton brown is a genius in the kitchen.
    Easy AND delicious! I'm never buying ginger snaps again.
    This are Ginger snaps (with a capital G!!!
    Incredibly wonderful! Chewy, spicy, and with a great texture from the little bits of candied ginger. I used Alton's recipe for making candied ginger -- time-consuming, but absolutely yummy in this cookie recipe.
    quick and easy. had a lazy saturday with a family visitor and whipped them up in no time. will never buy store bought ginger snaps again. Alton has done it once again!
    So amazing. I did not even add the fresh ginger, I used light brown sugar and used agave syrup in place of molasses and these were still sooo delicious. My new favorite cookie!
    Absolutely yummy.
    I love the flavor in these cookies! I probably should have chilled the dough because I prefer thicker cookies, but as my husband said "they are called ginger snaps." Watch them in the oven because 8 minutes seemed to work out the best for me. And for the other Denver reviewers, I made the dough exactly per the recipe with no problems. The dough was a little wet, but it worked out just fine. Perhaps you guys didn't weigh everything out? Will make again!
    After reading the reviews i was expecting a really spicy (the ginger kind of spicy cookie. It wasn't, but it was still good, mine didn't thin out like his either (which looks really nice in the picture even when i added some extra water in the second batch. To make it spicier, i spread some royal icing (AB's recipe and topped it with chopped up candy ginger and the sugar from the candied ginger - it added a really nice crunch and made it a little spicier. Although after the icing and topping it was the perfect cookie, i am still going to try again to see if i did anything wrong, and add a tad bit more ginger powder and i will coarsely chop the ginger this time.
    This is a fantastic recipe. As other reviewers have said, it's a wet dough, but don't be alarmed, the cookies come out wonderfully. I love the three types of ginger. It's a nice, spice cookie and the cardamom adds an exotic twist. I buy my cardamom at the Indian grocer near my house, it's much less expensive there. We baked 12 minutes and the cookies set well but were still nice and chewy.
    Wow. And I didn't think I was a big ginger snap fan. Perfect texture, and nice spice! Even my 5 year old raved (and I was sure they'd be too ginger-y for her. Yum. Will definitely make this again in the future.
    These cookies are simply not good. I love spicy, I love ginger, but these cookies have way too much ginger in them. I agree with the other reviewer that they have a funny aftertaste. I also had to bake them much longer than called for to get them to crisp up. I forgot I made these in the past and didn't like them then either. Disappointing, to say the least.
    Great recipe! Makes a crispy-chewy cookie aka the holy grail! I substituted gluten free flour and used pumpkin instead of egg to make a pumpkin spice cookie. It's not pumpkin-y enough for me just yet, but I will keep tinkering. Thank you Alton!
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