Gingerbread has a rich and varied history across Europe. There are many different variations. In the Netherlands and Belgium, they have a soft crumbly gingerbread cakes known as peperkoek which is a spiced ginger cake slabbed with butter and is generally enjoyed during the winter mornings. In Scandinavia, there are gingerbread biscuits known as a variety of names such as Pepperkakor in Sweden, Pepperkaker in Norway and Brunkager in Denmark. These gingerbread are biscuits which many families bake during Christmas as a tradition.
I often love biscuits that have are fiery and a clean snap that breaks into two. The molasses gives the gingersnaps that complex caramelly taste and dark colour that is commonly associated with gingerbread. In order to create the beautiful cracks on the surface of the cookies, it is important that the oven is preheated at 180℃ temperature, so use an oven thermometer if you have one, and have the dough rolled into 1 inch balls. The idea is that the cookie dough sets on the outside first so when the inside of the dough cooks and rises it breaks the crust on the outside creating the beautiful cracks. So without further ado…
- 250g plain flour
- 130g dark molasses/dark treacle
- 75g unsalted buter
- 70g white sugar
- 1 egg
- 20g ground ginger
- 10g bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Mix the softened butter, salt and molasses together in a small bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients, and mix until you get a dough like consistency.
- Roll the dough into a large ball and allow to refrigerate for up to 12 hours to allow the flavours to develop.
- Preheat the oven at 180℃
- Take the dough and roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place onto baking trays.
- Place the tray into the oven and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the cookie starts to crack. Allow to cool completely before serving.
- To turn gingersnaps into gingerbread that has a softer texture and less of a crunch, use 100g or 125g butter instead 75g butter in the recipe.
- If you want a gingerbread cookie without the cracks on the surface of it, roll the dough out with a rolling pin and cut the dough into shapes.