By using ground ginger, brown sugar, and corn syrup (molasses) you can create a simple and delicious ginger snap cookie or take it a step further and make it a shortbread.
My favorite fall/winter dessert cookie is ginger snaps!
I've never made them on my own but after going through a 2 month cookie baking phase, I've learned once you know the key to a great base you can generally make any cookie after that.
From my series of snickerdoodles I know brown sugar and cream of tartar help make their chewy texture. Ginger snaps are slightly different. They need to have that signature snap once the brown sugar has cooled and hardened. Instead of using cream of tartar, traditional ginger snap recipes use molasses. In the spirit of using what I have on hand, I reached for the maple syrup and realized I didn't have enough to carry this recipe so I used dark corn syrup. Molasses, maple syrup, or corn syrup would actually work just fine here. We're looking for that syrupy consistency to hold all the ingredients together and help form a nice consistency.
The ingredients below will give you a ginger snap cookie and if you continue following along, you'll see the simple trick for making a shortbread cookie.
2 cups flour (+ an extra 1/2 to 1 cup for shortbread version, step 6)
2 sticks butter
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp ginger spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Prep wet ingredients: In a medium sized bowl melt butter. Slowly add in sugars, whisking at the same time. Mixture will be grainy and wet. Add 1 egg at a time whisking each one before adding the next. Next up, add in vanilla, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, cinnamon, and corn syrup. Making sure to completely mix each ingredient in before adding the next.
Prep dry ingredients: in a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and remainder of ground ginger; combine with a fork.
Mix together: Slowly add your wet ingredients to the dry, mixing thoroughly. Keep mixing until you can't see anymore flour and the consistency is smooth.
Your batter might be a little wet still and that's fine! You will stop at this step for the ginger snap cookie. Put bowl in freezer for a few minutes until your dough can roll into a ball.
Ginger Spiced Shortbread
6. Slowly mix in the remaining flour. Sprinkling slowly and mixing completely. Once the dough forms into a ball then you've used enough flour, about 1/2 cup)
7. Roll about 2 tbsp of dough into a ball and place on a cookie sheet. If you are using cookie cutters, roll dough out into 1/4 inch thick layer and press out your cookie designs!
8. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. (I recommend 8 minutes and definitely no more than 10).