Baked Sunday Mornings: Gingersnaps with Lemon Sugar

It might be January, but our Baked Sunday Mornings group is still baking from the holiday baking section of Baked Occasions titled "12 Days of Cookies." The recipe for "Gingersnaps with Lemon Sugar" is definitely one of the quicker and easier ones in the book; it doesn't require any waiting or chilling time, and you don't even need a mixer.

To make this dough, all you do is combine sugar and all of the wet ingredients (canola oil, egg, egg yolk, and molasses) in one bowl; combine all of the remaining dry ingredients (flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt) in another; and add the dry ingredients to the wet. The recipe says to use your hands to mix the dough, but I used a spatula. You scoop the dough into balls, roll them in lemon sugar (granulated sugar rubbed together with lemon zest), and bake.
I have made this recipe before because I tested it before Baked Occasions was published. But even though the recipe I tested is identical to the version that's in the cookbook, the dough came out differently this time around. The only explanation I can come up with for the disparity is the fact that the recipe I tested had only volume measurements for the dry ingredients, while the cookbook version also has metric weights -- and I used the weights this time, since those are always easier and more consistent.

The first time I made the dough it was nice and firm; I scooped it into balls and they remained in neat spheres while I rolled them in lemon sugar and placed them on the baking sheet. This time, my dough was soft and oily -- it became misshapen when I rolled it in the sugar and it drooped into a flatter (but still round) puck after I placed the cookies on the baking sheet. Fortunately, they still came out perfectly round after baking.

In the cookbook photo, it looks like the lemon sugar is distributed evenly over the tops of the the cookies, but both times I have made this recipe the lemon sugar ended up in clumps. This is because the lemon sugar was damp and clumpy to begin with, and also because the cookie spreads quite a bit during baking and cracks form on the top, causing the sugar to become balkanized.

This is a terrific cookie. It has a crisp exterior, firm and super chewy interior, and a sweet finish from the lemon sugar on top. The dough might have come out differently in my two experiences with this recipe, but both times I ended up with cookies that were delicious.

Recipe: "Gingersnaps with Lemon Sugar" from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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Robyn said…
My dough was really soft as well, making the little blobs hard to roll in the lemon sugar. They turned out to be quite flat, but still pretty good!
Sheri said…
My dough was also soft but I was able to roll it in the lemon sugar. I really like the way the sugar looks on your cookies!

I think the dough could handle more flour, and I agree that volume vs. weight is probably why your test turned out different.
Anonymous said…
Nice job-- the cookies look awesome! My dough was very soft and oily too, so much so that I had to drain the excess oil on paper towels before AND after baking! Somehow they still turned out great, but hopefully next time I can get the emulsification right. I chilled my dough overnight and rolled them in sugar the next day-- there is no way they would have rolled nicely right after making the dough. That's really interesting that your dough turned out so different each time, but I'm glad you liked them both times! :)