When you think of a gingersnap, you probably think of a thin, crisp cookie that really snaps when you bite into it. But Nonfat Gingersnaps from David Lebovitz's new Ready for Dessert (Ten Speed) are thicker, softer, and chewier than a traditional gingersnap. And they're delicious. As Lebovitz recommends, I used the cookies to make ice cream sandwiches (I used plain vanilla ice cream, although he suggests tangy lemon frozen yogurt, which sounds great, too).
Makes about 20 cookies
The name may lead you to think these are crisp cookies, but they’re not. They are snappy in another way—there are plenty of spices in the batter, plus a generous helping of candied ginger, making them deserving of the snap moniker. They’re good on their own, but with such a soft, chewy texture, I had a hunch that they would make dynamite ice cream sandwiches, so I filled a few with Tangy Lemon Frozen Yogurt and popped them in the freezer. The next day, when I pulled a sandwich out of the freezer and took a bite, I stopped dead in my tracks because I was so stunned: it was the best ice cream sandwich I’ve ever had.
2 1/4 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons plus a big pinch ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (215 g) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (75 g) unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup (80 ml) mild molasses
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup (50 g) finely chopped candied ginger
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, 21/2 teaspoons cinnamon, the ginger, cloves, and pepper.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar, applesauce, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the egg whites and beat 1 minute. With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until completely incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for 1 minute more. Stir in the candied ginger. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, at least 1 hour.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and big pinch of cinnamon.
Using two spoons or a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop, drop heaping tablespoons of dough (about the size of an unshelled walnut) a few at a time into the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Use your hands to form the dough into balls and coat them heavily with the cinnamon sugar. They’ll be sticky, which is normal, and don’t worry if they’re not perfectly round. Place the balls at least 3 inches (8 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until the cookies feel just barely set in the centers, about 13 minutes. If they puff a lot during baking, flatten the tops very gently with a spatula, just enough so they’re no longer rounded.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Storage: The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for 2 months. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Variation: If you like extrachewy cookies, midway during baking, press each cookie firmly with a flat spatula so they are about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) high, then continue baking.
This story originally appeared in Cooking the Books, PW's e-newsletter for cookbooks.