Soft Ginger Cookies

Meet the gingersnap's more approachable cousin. Just like the snap, it packs a spirited, spicy punch, but with a gentler texture that's nicely suited for an after-school snack or a midnight treat. The recipe is simple, but it requires patience, as you'll have to wait at least two hours for the dough to chill between mixing it up and popping it in the oven. While you may be tempted to skip this step to cut down on prep time, don't: Refrigerating the dough makes it much easier to work with, and it won't stick to your hands as you roll it into oven-ready balls. One final hint: If you're having trouble locating crystallized ginger in your local grocery store, you'll find it stocked alongside other ingredients commonly used in Asian cuisine.

Soft Ginger Cookies
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Makes about 3 dozen (serving size: 2 cookies)


  • 1 cup (8 oz.) salted butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 cups (about 12 3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon table salt

  • Sparkling sugar (optional)


  1. Beat butter with a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, and beat until blended, about 1 minute. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. Beat in vanilla until blended and smooth, about 30 seconds.

  2. Process flour, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until ginger is very finely chopped and mixture is well blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, and beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. Shape dough in 2 (6-inch) disks, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape each dough disk into about 18 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Place dough balls 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Flatten each dough ball lightly with the palm of your hand, and, if desired, sprinkle each cookie lightly with sparkling sugar. (Chill remaining dough balls until ready to bake.)

  4. Bake in preheated oven until cookies are lightly browned on bottom, 9 to 11 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining dough balls.

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