Molasses-rich gingerbread and gingersnap cookies are some of the treats that I look forward to eating every holiday season. All the spices that are used in gingerbread work together to make every bite seem very warming when it is cold and blustery outside. These Olive Oil Gingersnaps are a little bit different than many of the more traditional gingersnaps out there, but they are a new favorite holiday cookie for me because they are downright addictive and offer a fresh twist on a long-time favorite cookie recipe.
Olive oil isn’t the right fat to use in all baked goods, but it works very well in these spicy, molasses-rich gingersnaps. A good quality olive oil has a peppery, fruity flavor that works very well with the spices in these cookies. Pepper is often added to gingerbread to give it a bit of a “kick” and the olive oil brings a similar effect to this delicious batch. The dough comes together easily and uses cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg, in addition to molasses and vanilla.
These cookies are moist and chewy, with a crisp outer crust that is the result of rolling the cookie dough in sugar before baking. It is important not to overbake these cookies, even though they may appear to be only very lightly browned, because they may become hard and lose some of their tenderness when they spend too much time in the oven. I rolled the cookies in regular white sugar, the same type of sugar that I used in my cookie dough. For an extra contrast, roll the cookies in coarse sugar before for a little more crunch.
These cookies keep exceptionally well and can be stored in an airtight container for several days after baking. Since they have a long shelf life, they are also a good choice for shipping as a holiday gift for friends and family who you might not get to see in person over the holidays.
Olive Oil Gingersnaps
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and olive oil until well-blended. Beat in egg, molasses and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until no streaks of flour remain.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar and place on baking sheet, allowing about 2-inches between cookies to allow for spread. The cookies do not need to be flattened.
Bake for about 7-9 minutes until the outside edge of the cookies are just set and are very lightly browned. Do not overbake.
Let cookies cool for 3-5 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen.