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Gingersnap Cookies with Lemon Icing

Published: December 18, 2013

Shortening is the ultimate determining factor in gingersnap texture. A stick of nondairy shortening gives them serious snap. The one I use contains no trans-fats or additives; it is a blend of oils. For me, a cookie’s crunch matters as much as its flavor. But if chewy cookies are your thing, read on.

Use a nondairy soft spread for a softer result. Cookies come out of the oven crispish, but turn chewy after they sit overnight. If you want softer snaps, know that the batter will be too soft to shape into balls. It needs to be dropped from a spoon onto your baking sheet.

Both shortenings make cookies with the same warm, zingy flavor, so bake them to please your preference. And either way, the cookies keep for a week and are great for sharing at holiday cookie swaps. (To make them look especially festive, sprinkle a pinch of red, green, or multicolor sugar onto the wet frosting.)

Gingersnap with Lemon Icing

(Makes 24 cookies)

Gingersnaps with Lemon Icing


  • ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup dairy-free buttery shortening sticks
  • ½ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 1 large egg white
  • ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk together both flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, use electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat shortening sticks with ½ cup sugar for 2 minutes. Add molasses and egg white and beat for 3 minutes. Set mixer on low speed and mix in dry ingredients just to combine–leaving white streaks is better than overmixing. Batter will form soft ball.
  4. Place remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in wide, shallow bowl. Pinch off about 1 tablespoon batter and roll it between your palms, forming 1″ ball. Place ball in bowl with sugar and roll to coat it, and then place on light-colored, ungreased baking sheet. Discard leftover sugar. Repeat, spacing balls 2″ apart. Using back of glass, press to flatten each ball into 1 ⅓” disk.
  5. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. For glaze: In small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar with lemon juice, mixing until sugar is completely dissolved.
  6. When cookies are done, immediately transfer with spatula to wire cooling racks. Using tip of knife, spread ¼ teaspoon glaze on top of each warm cookie. Cool completely. Store in cookie tin for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving (1 cookie)

Calories: 75
Total fat: 3 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 12 g
Fiber: <1 g
Protein: 1 g
Sodium: 80 mg

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