Spicy Ginger Cookies for Quarantine

I’m on a kick these days, trying out traditional recipes that represent our mixed heritage in Canada. I’ve just published a recipe for Norwegian glögg, a warm, spicy wine concoction served often at Christmas. Glögg tastes great with spicy ginger cookies, so I’m posting a recipe for these now, which came to me from a friend who was experimenting with cookie recipes during COVID isolation.

These cookies are a chewier, more satisfying version of the traditional gingersnap. They are not low in calories, but I’ve offered some tips in the notes to make them a tad healthier as a treat for the family.

Arrange the soft, spicy cookies on a platter with apples and a well-aged cheddar cheese. The secret is using candied ginger cut into small chunks the size of a chocolate chip. And don’t forget the glögg – skål!

Spicy Ginger Cookies
Makes about 22

  • 2 cups (240 grams) flour*
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup crystallized (candied) ginger, chopped into bits about half the size of your little fingernail
  • 1 cup (packed) coconut palm  sugar**
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil,*** room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey or molasses****
  • white sugar for rolling
  1. Combine the first six dry ingredients in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in the crystallized ginger pieces.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, oil and butter in a large bowl until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and honey, and beat until blended.
  4. Fold in the flour mixture using a wide spatula, just until blended.
  5. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Spoon some sugar in a thick layer onto a small plate. Using wet hands, form the dough into 1 ¼ inch balls (35 grams each). Roll in sugar to coat completely. I used my scale to ensure equal-sized balls.
  8. Place the cookie balls on your prepared sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart (11 on each sheet )
  9. Bake the cookies one tray at a time in the center of the oven. Keep the second tray in the fridge until you are ready to bake the cookies. If you have two ovens, you are in luck. Don’t try baking both trays at the same time in one oven, as they will cook unevenly or even burn.
  10. The cookies are done when cracked on top but still soft to touch, about 12 minutes.
  11. Cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute. Then with a spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to racks and let them cool. Pack them in an air-tight cookie tin for storage.


*I often use half all-purpose flour and half whole-wheat pastry flour or all whole-wheat flour, with good results and more fiber.
**You can substitute brown sugar, but it is less good for you.
***You can substitute shortening, but it is a way less healthy choice.
****A mild-flavored molasses is more traditional, but honey is a healthier option.

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