I love food that fools you. Not in a bad way, mind you, but when your brain expects one thing and you’re delivered something else. It makes you think about expectations and perceptions. More importantly it lets the food you want to highlight really shine through.
These cookies are just the ticket. Oh yes, they’re gingersnaps alright, but just a little more “snappy” than what you’d expect. The kick comes from a touch of cayenne pepper, which really emphasizes the ginger’s finishing “snap”. Hence the extra snappy.
I make these every year for the holidays, but I’m careful of who I give these to. Some people are really sensitive to spicy food and don’t like them, but they really do rock. Or snap!
Extra Snappy Gingersnaps
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1/4 cup egg whites (from about 2 eggs)
Combine the flour, baking soda, and spices in a mixing bowl and set aside. Cream the butter until smooth and fluffy in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer). Add the sugars and mix. Add the molasses and mix. Add the egg whites
in 2 batches, mixing to combine after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing to combine after each addition. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread a few tablespoons of granulated sugar on a small plate. Roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls, then roll each ball in the sugar until lightly coated. Transfer to parchment lined cookie sheets, leaving 1-inch of space between the cookies. Bake until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on wire racks and store in an airtight
container. Yield: 60 cookies.