I don’t know about you but the ultimate holiday cookie in my mind is a thin and crispy gingersnap.
Look, the holidays are alllll about indulging or at least bring a lot of indulgent foods into our lives. At a holiday party or meal, after I enjoy all my favorite savory foods, the last thing I want is a hearty or heavy cookie.
I want a little light, sweet piece of joy that tastes like the holiday season.
Which is how we landed here.
And for some reason, most recipes out there are for the cakey, soft gingersnaps which are also delicious but there must be more of us out there that love the thin and crispy ones right?
Please tell me I’m not alone on this.
Growing up in North Carolina, we would always take field trips to this delightful little place called “Old Salem.” It was a little Moravian village where you could learn about the history of many southern traditions through the lens of Moravians of North Carolina. We would walk through little houses that were preserved and watch people churn butter and play children’s games outside with toys they would have had…you get the point.
Well the highlight of these trips was always the visit to the Moravian Bakery. Most of the kids in my class would run straight for the sugar cake but for me, it was all about the Moravian Ginger Cookies. They were these light, wafer-like ginger cookies that were perfectly crisp and just the right amount of sweet. Plus they were packed with spicy ginger flavor. I loved them so much so that my mom would fill my stocking with a little package of them every year at Christmas!
Sadly, now that we live in Michigan these cookies are hard to come by. So when thinking what Christmas cookie I wanted to share with you this year, I knew I wanted to create my own crispy gingersnap cookie that while not the same as my beloved Moravian cookies, are perfect in their own right.
Thin & Crispy Gingersnaps
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, at least 2-3 minutes. Then add egg, vanilla and molasses one at a time, beating between each addition, making sure everything is well incorporated.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and cardamom.
Add 1/4 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating well to fully combine. Continue adding 1/4 of the dry ingredients at a time, beating well after each addition until all is combined. The dough should come together but be fairly sticky to the touch.
Roll or form dough into a log shape and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze at least 6 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350*.
Unwrap dough log and carefully slice 6 very thin slices (try not to make them any thicker than 1/8") and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.*
Bake for 9-11 minutes until they are a deep brown color and start to look lacey on the top. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.
Required baking time may vary based on the thickness of your cookies.
*These cookies will spread a lot, which is why it is important that the dough slices have plenty of space and are frozen when they go into the oven - this is what makes them so light and crispy.
I recommend slicing as you go and putting the dough log back in the freezer while each sheet of cookies is baking, rather then slicing the whole log at once. You can control the size of the cookie by the thickness of the dough log and by the size of the slices.