Gingersnaps are a traditional cookie for the holiday season, and these Sultry Gingersnaps for Leonard offer all I dream about: a molasses-dark chewy centre surrounded by crispness and the crunch and bling that comes from rolling them in cane sugar before baking. And yes, in case you’re wondering, Leonard is the one and only Leonard Cohen, whose words and music have meant so much to me since the age of eighteen. I first published this post after seeing his concert in London, Ontario on December 12, 2012. Sadly, he died in November 2016, and I’ve left the post written in the present tense as a tribute to him.
Sultry Gingersnaps in Homage to Leonard Cohen
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.
My Gingersnap Dreams
These cookies are everything I dream about in a gingersnap: 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.
This recipe delivers everything I dream about in a gingersnap: a molasses-dark chewy centre surrounded by crispness and the crunch and bling that comes from rolling them in cane sugar before baking. You can make these cookies ahead and freeze them unbaked for warm gingery goodness whenever the craving strikes.
- 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 silicone baking mat, 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.
Baking time reality: I try to bring a relaxed and realistic approach to my time estimates — baking is not a race! The 50 minutes of baking time assumes you’ll be baking 12 cookies at a time. If you have the trays to accommodate more in your oven at once, obviously you can reduce the total time. I’ve also incorporated shaping the first batch of dough balls and rolling them in sugar into the prep time (figuring that while the first tray is in the oven, you’ll use the baking time to shape and roll the dough for the next batch). I try to be efficient in the kitchen while enjoying the process.
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. When I first wrote this post, I had about six dozen in my freezer, ready to be baked for my upcoming Christmas open house. If Leonard had rung the doorbell, I’d have been ready! See more about my make-ahead and freezing method.
Looking to Stack Up Some More Cookies?
Who doesn’t love making cookies? Here are a few — each exceptional in their own way — that you may like to have on rotation: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies, and Dark Chocolate Sour Cherry Cookies.
First Published 2012 12 12
Republished 2021 12 09