My ginger snaps recipe is a whole grain riff on the tried and true cookie that can be found across the internet. Truly, almost every recipe has 2 cups of flour, 1 egg, 2 tsp of baking soda…etc. The only differences are oil vs. butter and small shifts in the amounts of ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. But I wanted to give this classic recipe more interesting wheat flavors and more nutritional value.
I love using whole grain flour in cookies for a few reasons. First, different wheat varieties add complementary flavors e.g. red fife wheat has baking spice aromas, rye has an earthiness that pairs well with chocolate and berries, and the snickerdoodles I made with pima club soft white wheat had an amazing creamy flavor. Second, while I can’t argue that cookies are healthy, I appreciate having the additional fiber from whole grains to slow the absorption of the cookies’ sugar. Finally, the weaker gluten of unconventional whole grain flours is an asset to cookie baking, making a more tender crumb and reducing the risk of overdeveloping gluten during mixing.
This recipe uses red fife and rye flours because I wanted the baking spice aromas and earthiness I mentioned above, and because I love the particular chew/crunch that rye brings to cookies. That said, if you want to make this recipe with all purpose flour, simply remove the 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract. It’s there to help hydrate the thirstier flours. Initially, I used 1 Tbsp of water, but for my second test bake, I decided I might as well use something with a nice aroma. Without it, your cookies will still be plenty delicious. If you want to make the recipe with conventional whole wheat flour, you can do a 1:1 substitution.
Crispy vs. Chewy
The difference between these two batches of cookies above is 60g or 1/2 cup of flour, as well as your cookie storage strategy. For a crispy flatter cookie, use 260g or 2 cups of flour in total. For a chewy, more rounded cookie, use 320g or 2 1/2 cups of flour in total, and store your cooled cookies in a closed container.
Alton Brown’s ginger snaps recipe is an outlier to the recipe uniformity I mentioned. He uses fresh ginger and candied ginger, in addition to ground ginger. If you want a more potent ginger flavor, you can add those ingredients as well.
See the photo gallery below the recipe for additional tips.