The perfect Ginger snap cookie
So how do we get that spicy cracked top cookie ? I have experimented with several recipes to come up with this one using OLIVE OIL as the fat. This recipe requires no mixer. Read my post on cookies and you will understand how by adjusting the amount of baking soda and/or baking powder, I was able to create a cookie with that cracked top and perfect texture.
Ginger Snap Cookie:
1 ¾ cups (12.3 oz. or 349 g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (6 oz. or 170g) olive oil
¼ cup (59 ml) unsulfured molasses
1 large egg (in Israel medium)
2 ½ cups (9.9 oz. or 281 g) all purpose flour ( choose protein/gluten of approximately 11%)
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp. ground pepper (or to taste)
Mix together the sugar and oil.
Add the molasses .
Add the egg and mix until blended.
In another bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture.
Cover and chill dough for at least one hour or overnight.
Cover a cookie sheet in parchment paper.
Roll the dough balls in coarse granulated sugar until completely coated. and place on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350°F or 180°C approximately 8 minutes. Turn the pan around and bake an additional 2-3 minutes.
So why does the cookie have such a crisp cracked up top? How does the magic happen?
With the low moisture content of the batter (basically the only liquid being the egg white since the yolk counts as fat ) and the high sugar content, the sugar does not dissolve well and in the hot oven the undissolved sugar crystals migrate to the surface of the cookie, creating a cracked and crispy top. Do not use superfine sugar for this recipe!
In addition, the excessive amount of baking soda in our dough (2 tsp. as opposed to a typical recipe of ¼ tsp. per cup of flour) is done here for a reason. Baking soda is an alkaline substance that weakens the gluten structure of the cookie. This creates a more porous structure from which air bubbles (that are created by reacting with the liquid and acid in the molasses) and moisture can escape. The excessive amount of baking soda will also make the dough collapse after the initial rise in the oven which also leads to cracks in the surface, When the surface cracks, more moisture escapes, contributing to the desired cracked top and nice crunch!