You know how, as children, we never liked grown-up cookies? Spiced, low sugar, bitter-ish cookies that looked so unappetizing? I mean, at least compared to the sugary, jam-filled, crazy colored cookies that came in plastic packs of psychedelic colors? Yeah, those.

I’ve never been much of a biscuit/cookie person. As you know from here and here and here. Ahem. But there are a few that I go weak in the knees for—mostly the dunker family. But you saw that coming, didn’t you?

Gingersnaps. Or ginger biscuits, as they’re called here. You know, the ones that the corner grocer stocks in large cookie jars, a thin layer of bad quality fat sticking to the inner wall? I hated them as a kid—I thought they were too spicy. But as the years went by and I grew out of sugary treats, I developed a taste for these. Except, I never like the after taste of bad fat on my palate. Then, while going through one of my spontaneous-buy-cookbooks, “Cookie Jar Classics,” I found this recipe. I knew I wanted to make them right away. Good thing I did—they’re fuss-free, need only one bowl, and get done very, very quickly!

I only made one change—I used fresh root ginger instead of ground ginger, and I think the result is better than what I imagine the ground ginger version to be. They turned out light and satisfying, with a little bit of bite. The ginger comes through very clearly, complimented by the hint of cinnamon. The molasses added a lovely earthiness, which went so well with the ginger and gave the cookie an even color. In spite of the copious amounts of sugar going in, they’re not too sweet. Avanee ate one whole cookie, would you believe it!

Please make them. And dunk them in tea and stare at your one-year-old as she bites into one and flashes a crumb-smeared smile.


  • 2 and ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup treacle or molasses (I used the local Kaakvi, which I got on my last Kolhapur trip)
  • 2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger (I used about 1 tbsp. of finely grated fresh ginger)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (for coating)

Method (with my changes):

  1. Cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Add egg and treacle/molasses/kaakvi. Beat well until smooth.
  3. Sieve in the flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the ginger. Combine well to get a sticky dough.
  4. With greased hands, form small balls, about the size of a small lime, and roll in the ¼ cup of sugar.
  5. Place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 175 degrees centigrade for about 10 minutes until set, and bottoms beginning to brown.
  7. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the cookie tray, and then transfer with the help of a spatula or other flat weapon, to a cooling rack. Cool completely before storing in an air-tight jar, ever so lightly.