Sadie’s Gingersnaps

Ken Rivard

Chef Jody Adams’ holiday cookie recipe comes by way of her friend and travel buddy Bette Anne Harris and Harris’ grandmother, Sadie. Follow Adams’ lead and add these crunchy gingersnaps to your seasonal repertoire, with a sprinkle of candied ginger pre-baking for extra winter spice.

See the 12 Days of Cookies here.


Servings: 32 cookies


  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar, plus additional for rolling
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 level teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger (not fresh)
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/3  cup thinly sliced or minced candied ginger, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (use a convection option if your oven has it.) In a standing mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg, then add the molasses, baking soda, spices and salt. Beat well.
  3. Turn off the mixer and add the flour. Run the mixer on its lowest setting until the flour is just combined.
  4. Transfer the dough to a small bowl, cover and chill about 10–20 minutes to make it easier to work with.  (You can refrigerate the dough for up to 36 hours, if necessary.)
  5. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with lightly greased parchment paper. (You will make 5 – 6 sheets of cookies, working in batches.)
  6. Cover the bottom of a shallow bowl with about 1/4-inch of granulated sugar. Fill another bowl halfway with water for dipping your fingers.
  7. Roll the dough into balls the size of a walnut (about a tablespoon of dough) and then roll each ball in the granulated sugar. Finish transforming all of the dough into sugared balls, ready to go on a plate or cutting board, before you start baking.
  8. Place 6 balls on a baking sheet at least 4 inches apart (they spread a lot). Dip your fingers in the water and flatten the balls into disks about 1/4-inch thick and about 2 inches in diameter – they’ll spread more when they bake.
  9. Sprinkle the raw cookies with candied ginger.
  10. “Bake until they are done – they should be dark.”   (Those were Sadie’s instructions, which I love.) They take about 12 minutes, give or take a minute, depending on your oven.
  11. Let the cookies cool on the parchment sheet about 10 minutes before transferring to a rack.

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