I made ginger snap cookies last week and thought you might be interested in my recipe.
My recipe is one that I’ve played with and developed over the last 15 years or so. It is based upon 3 older 19th century recipes. I have finally gotten my ginger snaps to the place where I’m happy with the result every time.
The secret to my cookies is ground white pepper. The pepper gives the cookie a bit more bite than some other recipes. Extra ginger is used in my recipe as is lard or bacon fat.
For years I resisted adding bacon drippings or lard to my ginger snap cookies because I thought it sounded gross and would taste “porky”. But after going through old-time cook books and recipes and seeing the addition of bacon drippings or lard time and time again, I decided to experiment. I’m glad I did.
The result is pleasing. If you have never added pepper, bacon fat or lard to your ginger snaps you might want to give it a try.
Makes about 4 dozen 2 ½ inch cookies
- 4-½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1-tablespoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2-tablespoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons white pepper
- 1-cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ – cup butter (1 stick)
- ½ – cup lard or clean strained bacon drippings
- ½ cup dark molasses
- 4 eggs
- Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and white pepper and sift into a medium size bowl. Sift again.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, lard (or bacon fat), molasses and eggs. Mix until very light and fluffy.
- Stir in the dry ingredients. Mix well.
- Shape dough into a large ball. Dough will be sticky. Wrap in wax paper or plastic & refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 375°
Lightly grease 4 or 5 cookie sheets
Shape dough by heaping rounded teaspoons into balls.
Dip tops of the balls into sugar.
Place the balls sugared side up 3 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake until the edges are set and the tops show cracks.
The centers may be left soft for a softer cookie if you like.
The baking time is about 8-10 for a soft cookie and 10–13 minutes for a crisper cookie.
Immediately remove from the cookie sheets from the oven and cool the cookies on a wire rack
Black pepper may be substituted for white pepper.
½ cup of butter or vegetable shortening may be substituted for the lard or bacon drippings.