On a cold and blustery day with slate colored skies threatening rain, The Artist and I drove to the Oxbow Market in Napa to restock our pantry. Piles of artisan cheeses, the freshest spices, grass-fed meats and free range poultry, Three Twins ice cream, Kara’s Cupcakes, organic produce, and the best gluten-free pasta we’ve found in the states – this is one of our favorite haunts to find the most remarkable products.
As we wandered the hall, admiring each vendor’s goods, near the end of one row there was a pile of freshly baked cookies that caught my eye. Still warm, delicious aromas wafting toward us, drawing me closer. The vanilla, ginger, and touch of cinnamon were intoxicating. I stepped forward to see if I could figure out what these cookies were made from when I saw the labels … Gingerdoodles. I was immediately smitten and I’ve been dreaming of them ever since.
Snickerdoodles are tender, slightly chewy vanilla sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar. With no guidelines for Gingerdoodles or an exact recipe to work with, I borrowed a classic Snickerdoodle recipe (from Julianne of Beyond Frosting), made a few changes and created my version of a Gingerdoodle. I replaced most of the cinnamon with the sweet heat of ginger and I chose to add even more ginger goodness with candied ginger in the dough. Then I rolled them in a gingery sugar coating.
These are cookies that will have your guests begging for the recipe and a doggie bag to take leftovers home with them. They are lovely and would be the perfect after dinner dessert or sweet snack in the afternoon with a cup of tea. Watch carefully because if you turn your back, they may have a tendency to disappear as little hands reach for just one more!
To change these up for special holidays, you can sprinkle the tops of the cookies as they come out of the oven with colored sugars … green for St. Patrick’s Day, red and green for Christmas, blue for Hanukkah, green/gold/purple for Mardi Gras, etc.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Spring is here and our trees are beginning to show signs of leaves! Milder and hopefully drier days are coming and I can’t wait! Californians get grumpy after a few days of no sunshine, LOL.
See you next week for #ChocolateMonday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
If you want, make the dough ahead and chill until fairly firm. Then form into a log and wrap tightly in parchment and then plastic wrap. Freeze and have on hand any time you want to bake a few cookies. There is nothing better than sweet treats fresh from the oven!
Most of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free except for using a gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour.
- 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend (If using gluten-free flour, add 1/8 tsp xanthan gum)
- 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (helps create a chewy cookie!)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 225g) high quality unsalted butter, at cool room temperature (such as Kerrygold butter)
- 1 cup (7 oz; 200g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (7 oz; 200g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1/3 cup candied ginger, roughly chopped (see Note)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Additional candied ginger, optional
- Make the Cookie Dough: In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar, and allspice. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your standing mixer, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, and vanilla. Beat until completely combined and creamy. Scrape the bowl and beater(s).
- Add the dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time, beating after each addition until completely incorporated. When all the dry ingredients are combined, increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the candied ginger and mix until evenly distributed.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes (or up to a day ahead). This gives the dry ingredients time to fully absorb the liquids and the butter to firm up. You will get chewier cookies that are thicker than you would if you baked the dough right away without chilling first.
- Bake the Cookies: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a shallow, wide bowl or pie plate, make the topping mixture by whisking together the sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. Set next to the baking sheets.
- Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop (about 1-1/2-inch diameter), portion the dough into equally-sized balls, dropping them into the sugar mixture. Roll in the sugar, covering all the surfaces, then place about 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. I placed 6 to 8 cookies on each baking sheet. These cookies spread a lot so do not place them too close together. If desired, gently press a few pieces of candied ginger on the top of each dough ball, sprinkle with a little extra of the spiced sugar, or use colored sugars for holidays.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for a minute to firm up slightly. Use a thin metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough until all the cookies are baked.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Bonus: You can use the leftover sugar mixture to sprinkle on toast in the morning!
- Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
- NOTE: I wanted little pieces of candied ginger in every bite, but if you want larger bites, you do not need to chop them.
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