Sultry Gingersnaps for Leonard


I spent this evening in the warm embrace of Leonard Cohen. By which I mean I was among hundreds of other people at his concert in London, Ontario. I don’t suppose he really noticed me, but all the same, it felt like he was singing just for me.

I think Leonard would like these ginger snaps. They’re sultry cookies … a little spicy, a little mellow with a soft centre and a crisply textured edge, presented with a touch of flair. A perfect nibble when listening to the man himself.


I wrote about these last year in a post called Spicy Sweet Crisp Chewy.  A guest had brought them for Christmas and I adored them, but mine didn’t turn out with the same richly chewy result. I’ve discovered the reason. Last year I substituted margarine for the butter. (Something tells me Leonard would not approve.) I don’t like using margarine at all, but was accommodating a dairy sensitivity. This year I’ve been making them with butter, and they’re everything I dream about in a ginger snap: a molasses-dark chewy centre surrounded by crispness and the crunch and bling that comes from rolling them in cane sugar before baking. Like Leonard, mesmerizingly classy with a frisson of sexiness (pardon me, but I’ve got my crush on).

I think Leonard would approve. One taste of these and he just might be crooning “I’m Your Man” for me.

(With apologies to the Culinary Enthusiast.)


Sultry Gingersnaps for Leonard

This recipe makes about 5 dozen cookies. The recipe is the same as I posted last year, with the exception that butter is de rigueur and cane sugar is used for rolling instead of regular white sugar.

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fancy molasses
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • cane sugar for rolling

Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and molasses. Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture. Beat slowly until just incorporated.

Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes to one hour.

While the oven is preheating to 350° F, roll the dough into 1″ balls and then roll them in cane sugar to lightly coat. (My one tablespoon ice cream scoop is the perfect size for this.)

Place on cookie trays lined with parchment or a Silpat, and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until the top cracks. Leave on the tray for one to two minutes before putting on a rack to cool.

Make-ahead tip: once the dough balls have been rolled in the sugar, you can freeze them on a baking sheet and then transfer to a freezer bag. When you want warm cookies, place them on the baking sheet while the oven heats and bake as per the instructions above.

There are about six dozen in my freezer right now, ready to be baked for our Christmas Open House this weekend. If Leonard rings the doorbell, I’ll be ready!

Holiday Mingle Sultry Gingersnaps |© Urban Cottage



    • I took the photos in my light box and was delighted with the results. Plus, the cane sugar crystals are larger and more defined than regular granulated, so that helped too. The balls of raw dough with the sugar pressed into them are almost too pretty to bake! I’ve been keeping some in the freezer, so that when we’d like a warm cookie I can just throw a few into the oven. I should have taken a few of these to the concert for Leonard, but something tells me I wouldn’t have gotten near him!

  1. I have to laugh, Mar. I went back to last year’s recipe and learned that my reaction to this recipe is EXACTLY like the reaction I had to last year’s. Thank goodness it makes 5 dozen because I could eat a dozen and no one would be the wiser.
    Say what you will, at least I’m consistent! And knowing that these will stay chewy means that I might eat 2 dozen. Still, who’ll know? 🙂

    • Glad to hear you’re consistent in the ginger snap crush department! They are good, aren’t they. You’re one of the few people who saw last year’s recipe when I published it; I wasn’t getting too many readers back then!

      I have to warn you, these cookies are addictive. I’d like one right now, but I guess I’d better eat my dinner first 😊

  2. Those dough balls alone look fantastic!
    I played snooker with Leonard Cohen at the Chelsea Arts Club back in the 80’s – he’s quite a warm guy in spite of some his lyrics 😉

  3. Sadly, I was unable to attend your open house, but was
    thrilled that Ron came home with some for me! They are

    • I love to take my food photos outside, but that’s difficult in those months where it gets dark so early. I bought a lightbox last fall. It’s really improved the quality of my indoor photos, but it does have limitations. For instance, I can’t photograph a regular-sized dinner plate in it, so I present my food on small dishes (otherwise, the side seams show in the photos). It took me a while to get used to it, and I find it adds a bit of a ‘magazine’ feel to some of my photos. I’d like to try creating a larger ‘set’ with lights and reflectors, like we were taught at the conference, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to that!

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