Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Sunday, December 21, 2014


If you can't bear to cut out another Christmas cookie, consider this festive -- and snappy -- holiday cookie. Not only are these gingersnaps delicious, but they are very easy to prepare. That's because the dough is formed into logs and sliced, relieving the baker of the tedious task of rolling and using cookie cutters. It's a modern-day incarnation of the refrigerator cookie, once a staple of nearly every mid-20th kitchen. Today it is seen most often in the slice-and-bake versions manufactured by Nestle's and the like.

This is not a vintage recipe, though it is over 20 years old. It's from a charming children's cookbook, Fanny at Chez Panisse by Alice Waters. Fanny is Alice's daughter. (For those who've been living in a cave the past 30 or so years, Alice is the chef who invented the farm-to-table movement, and so much more. Her restaurant is a not-to-be-missed experience in Berkeley, California.)

Start by mixing the butter and sugar. Add in the egg, vanilla and molasses.

The dough will be quite stiff after the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Form into three balls, cover in plastic and refrigerate.

Roll the dough into logs, wrap in plastic and freeze for 30 minutes. (Though I did this right from the refrigerator and it worked fine.)

Slice into cookies.

Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with sugar if desired. I used pearl sugar, purchased a while back at Ikea.

Close up of unbaked cookie.

Gingersnaps from Fanny at Chez Panisse

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 c plus 6 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 c molasses
3 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t powdered ginger

Preheat oven to 350 F

Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla, egg and molasses and continue creaming until well combined.
In another bowl, combine the flour and spices.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine well.
Divide the dough into three equal portions, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured board, roll each piece of dough into a log-shaped cylinder that's about 1 3/4 inches in diameter.
Wrap in plastic and freeze about 30 minutes, or til firm.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the logs into cookies about 1/4 inch thick and place on the cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Cool and enjoy.

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