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Truly, deeply, madly obsessed

picnic on the porch

With all the cupcakes we've been making lately (and cakes, there were two cakes too, but that's another story), you would think I would be done with treats. You would think I'd be happy to leave my baking cupboard closed for few days and give the mixer a rest. You would think that would be sensible of me.

If you think that, you're thinking wrong.

It isn't my offense though, this return to sugar and sweets. I didn't mean to become truly, deeply, madly obsessed with the thought of gingersnaps for two weeks straight. I blame it on the Grandparents.

I know it sounds cruel that I would place blame squarely on the well-intentioned shoulders of my children's grandparents, but I call them like I seem them.

It's totally their fault.

Benjamin came home with a cookie from Grandma. Not surprising, of course, as Grandmas are made of cookies (and Grandpas of candy, don't you know). Being the sweet little man he is, Ben was prompt to share his snack with me as soon as he walked through the door. His sweetness may have been slightly influenced by his inability to open the wrapper the cookie was presented in, but really that is neither here nor there.

Crinkle, rip, crunch.

Half for him, half for me. I popped my share in my mouth distractedly. I wasn't really even in the mood for a cookie. Benjamin is deeply offended if you do not immediately enjoy the treat that has been shared, so I obliged.

Munch, munch, munch. Drat.

This cookie was really very good. Really especially good. And gone. My mind raced to tack down its characteristics; a thin biscuity, wafery cookie. Not cakey in the least. Not crumbly, not delicate, but crisp. Spice, yes, there was spice involved. Where's that wrapper? Think, think, think. Cinnamon, definitely. And ... something else. Ginger? Yes! Ginger was it.

Now I needed to make gingersnaps.

I am proud to say my restraint won out, momentarily at least. I exercised the utmost self-control and waited until the flour had settled and the candle smoke had cleared from our birthday celebrations before I did what I had to do.

I Googled.

After a few search modifications, and a few pages I struck gold. Well, sugar dusted bronze, to be exact. David Lebovitz. Chez Panisse. Gingersnaps. Done.

Chez Panisse Gingersnaps
Unsurprisingly, considering their origin, these are some of the best gingersnaps I have tried. They are spicy without being claustrophobically so. The cinnamon and pepper add deeper dimensions of heat, complimenting the bright fire of ground ginger.

Recipe (via


• The dough is quite soft, so I used this method to form the logs prior to chilling: wrap loosely-formed dough on the centre of a piece of parchment paper, fold the paper over. Then, holding the two edges of the parchment parallel to the dough together, press a ruler against the log to compress.
• I preferred my cookies on the smaller size, rolling the log out to a 1-inch diameter. The cooking time ran about 8 minutes. I also experimented with different thicknesses of cookies, some whisper-thin and crackling, others fat and tender. All were delicious.
• I regard to baking times, these cookies do brown quickly, going from deeply-golden to overly-toasted in a matter of moments. Keep an eye on them.
• On a particularly-vulnerable evening, I may have taken two of the thicker, softer cookies and sandwiched them with vanilla bean ice cream in between. And on another night, there may have been peaches too. And it may have been nothing short of wonderful.

Help! I am also looking to contact Dor, one of the winners of the Martha Stewart Cupcakes giveaway; please e-mail me at tara [at] sevenspoons [dot] net to claim your prize by Thursday, June 25th, 2009. After that date, an alternate winner will be selected.

Reader Comments (13)

Hahaha nothing short of wonderful... I'm sure these cookies are just that! I've been on a gingery kick lately, I should try these! Peaches and ginger are heavenly!
Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarta

Oh no! Providence! My boyfriend has been hinting at some gingery cookies since I've been on a peanut butter kick lately. You have inspired me for sure. Somewhere, my boyfriend thanks you.

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson

Those look gorgeous. I have never been 100% happy with gingersnaps that I have made. These look like the perfect recipe.

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Mmm, love gingersnaps. These look deliciously perfect!

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlisa (dandysugar)

Mmmm...Tara, I love gingersnaps! I have yet to try making them at home, but I have bookmarked this recipe to try when I do.

Also, I am planning to make chocolate cupcakes for a barbeque next week and came immediately to your blog for recommendations, because you seem to be the chocolate cake queen!

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea [bella eats]

I love gingersnaps. Here in Australia we have an icon biscuit brand called Arnotts. They make gingernut biscuits. Funnily enough, there seems to be different tastes across the country and they make different versions. Seems people have a favourite. These look delicious. How much do you love David's recipes. BTW, I ordered that cupcake book today. After my decision not to. Oh well. :)

June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulia @ Mélanger

I'm never sick of my baking cupboard. Never, ever :) And gingersnaps are one of my favourites.

June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHilary

ooh, those look really good. I don't usually like gingersnaps, but I may have to try those

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRita

I would take one of those ginger snaps over a cupcake anyday. Thanks, Tara.

June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Oh I really do think a cookie swap is in our near future! In the meantime, I'm so glad you posted the recipe. I'm drooling.

June 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkickpleat

Just awesome Tara... I love gingersnaps & yours look GREAT! The recipe does look like 'the one'.

Marta, I'll confession another one for you - another day, I took I made a ginger beer float with mango ice cream. So you and I are on the same ginger/fruit page. Now I must get some peaches.

Allyson, Sean always asks me to make peanut butter cookies - the ginger were for me this time. It's always the way, isn't it?

Dana, please report back if you try them!

lisa, thank you!

Andrea, thanks for the sweetness. Please let me know how your barbecue turns out!

Julia @ Mélanger, another good cookbook is not a bad thing. Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Interesting that the cookies are different depending on the region of Australia; are the differences minor or majorr?

Hilary, you are a woman after my own heart.

Rita, I am not usually a big gingersnaps lover - an overdose of gingerbread for a charity event years ago put me off of them. It is amazing though how a really good one, out of the blue, can make you want to make a whole batch.

Jess, you're most welcome.

kickpleat, since your cocoa nib cookies had my tummy grumbling, I call it even. I see some of these travelling across country sometime soon.

Deeba @Passionate About Baking, the thanks goes to David for sharing the recipe. But I'll say you're welcome, nonetheless.

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertara

Tara: everything from chez Panisse is wonderful. Add your special touch to it and your creative photography and it's heavenly!!!

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia PS

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