My favorite thing about this recipe is that it uses real ginger, in both the natural form and the crystallized form. Ginger can be bit spicy to the discerning kid, but it's really good for digestive systems. Just think about how often ginger ale is prescribed for a nausea. That's because it is safe for general use and great at alleviating gastrointestinal discomfort. It also has potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese in small quantities. And if you put it in a cookie, as exemplified by gingersnaps, kids forget about ginger's aromatic spiciness and gobble it down.
These cookies are sweetened with unsulfered molasses, which is a byproduct of mature cane sugar processing ( as opposed to sulfered molasses, which is produced by young cane sugar and is treated with sulfur dioxide as a preservative). Essentially sugar cane stalks are pressed to remove the sugar, then that juice is boiled to promote crystallization of sugar granules After the sugar granules are removed the resulting richly brown liquid is molasses. Unlike processed cane sugar, molasses, particularly Blackstrap molasses (which I couldn't find this time around) does have some nutrients. These include small amounts of calcium, potassium, and iron.
Traditionally gingersnaps also have cinnamon, which you can add if you feel the need. Personally I think that the batter is already seasoned enough with the ginger. A lot of recipes also use shortening, but in this one I only used 1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter. This recipe is also egg-free and free of granulated sugar, where most other recipes use egg and a combo of molasses and brown or white sugar. So this recipe is lower in fat and sugar, has whole wheat flour and still tastes great. I hope that your family enjoys these "healthy" cookies as much as we did.
Super simple gingersnaps
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 9 minutes
Makes: 2 dozen cookies
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup unsulfered molasses
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger (you can increases up to a tablespoon if you like them spicier, but careful with the kiddos)
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water
Turbinado sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine the butter, molasses, and ginger in a bowl and mix on medium speed until combined. Then add in the dry ingredients and water until a soft dough forms. Roll the dough into 1/2 inch ball and place on a greased cookie sheet. Lightly grease the bottom of a measuring cup and press the cookies flat, so that they form neat circles. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar.
Bake for 9 minutes, then remove and let cool. East immediately* (if you're like us) or store in a Tupperware for a few days.
*As opposed to baking all of the cookies at once, you can roll the cookies into balls as described above and freeze until later use. That way you can make just a few cookies at a time, so you and your family don't eat 2 dozen cookies in one night!