MFK Fisher’s Gingersnaps

This recipe by MFK (Mary Frances Kennedy) Fisher, the mother of modern food writing, spent time in France before returning to Southern California in the midst of the Great Depression. Gingersnaps, she says "are wonderful for parties at the end of any long meal or drinking bout...better than anything else for traveling whether one is queasy or not." Ginger has always been important for digestion, so if we can eat it in a cookie, all the better!


  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 tsp Champagne or apple cider vinegar
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 6 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • Candied ginger slices


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line baking pans with parchment paper; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, molasses and vinegar; beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, soda and spices. Gradually stir into wet ingredients, mixing to blend.
  4. With floured hands, roll into ½-inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheets.
  5. Cut candied ginger slices into 4 quarters. Place a quarter on top of ginger ball. Bake 10-12 minutes, longer for crisp cookies, less for chewy.

Storing Cookies: In an airtight container at room temperature, the cookies will soften a bit each day. Cookies keep for one week at room temperature or one month in the freezer. For even fresher cookies, you can keep balls of the unbaked dough in the freezer for up to two weeks and bake them as you need them, say, on Sunday morning? 


Makes about 4 dozen cookies

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