Gingerbread crinkle cookies are a must-try during the holidays. They are chewy, full of ginger flavor and coated in sugar with exposed cookie cracks.
It’s National Cookie Day! As if I needed another reason to bake cookies during the Christmas season. Today I tried my hand at crinkle cookies, but not the good old fashioned chocolate ones.I took my cookie game to the next level and made gingerbread crinkle cookies—and yes, they are as festive and sweet as they sound.
There are cut-out gingerbread cookies, gingersnaps, ginger thins, chewy gingerbread cookies, crispy gingerbread cookies, but gingerbread crinkle cookies prove to be a rare find. I searched endlessly and couldn’t find a recipe that matched up with the cookie I was set on baking. Naturally I took on the challenge and started some recipe testing.
Gingerbread crinkle cookies ingredients
You know a good crinkle cookie when you see it—and eat it. They are covered in powdered sugar with a few gaping cracks exposing the inner parts of a perfectly baked cookie. To meet the same expectations the chocolate crinkle cookies set, but in gingerbread form, I made a few exchanges to the ingredients.
You have your usual suspects (flour, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla). But the key ingredients for gingerbread cookies are brown sugar and molasses. They play well together and both aid in the chewiness. To keep the characteristic gingerbread flavor strong, you also need holiday spices (cinnamon, ginger and cloves).
Chewy crinkle cookies
In order for gingerbread crinkle cookies to be chewy, not only do you need your key ingredients brown sugar and molasses, but you also need to chill the dough. Yes, I know this step can be annoying because all you want to do is eat cookies, but trust me it’s well worth the wait.
Chilling the dough will help the cookies stay thick while they bake in the oven. It will also make your job easier when you roll the balls of dough in sugar.
Powdered sugar crinkle cookies
As for the signature crinkle exterior, a roll in granulated sugar and then powdered sugar makes a perfect crackly exterior and keeps the powdered sugar in place. The sugar should stay stuck to the cookies while they bake. If for some reason they don’t, you can also press the tops of the cookies into powdered sugar once they’ve cooled.
More gingerbread recipes
Lucky for you, gingerbread is one of my favorite flavors of the season. Here are a few of my recipes I’ve perfected over the years!
- Gingerbread man cookies
- Gingerbread donuts
- Mini gingerbread cupcakes
- Gingerbread waffles
- Gingerbread biscotti
I can’t help but think what a perfect contribution these cookies will make to the Christmas cookie swaps and holiday pot luck parties everyone has scheduled this month.
Bookmark this recipe for the holidays. These gingerbread crinkle cookies overcome your sweet tooth and flirt with your tastebuds leaving you wanting more.
Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies
- 3 cups (375 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (150 g) dark brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons (170 g or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, but still cool, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (60 g) confectioners’ sugar
- With an electric mixer (either hand or stand) stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt at low speed until combined, about 20 seconds. Stop the mixer and add the butter pieces. Mix at medium-low speed until the mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, about 1 1/2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and, with the mixer running, gradually add the molasses and milk. Mix until the dough is evenly moistened, about 20 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.
- Scrape the dough onto a work surface; divide it in half. Working with one portion at a time, shape the dough into two round disks. Cover them in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Alternatively, refrigerate the dough 2 hours or overnight.¹
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and scoop a heaping tablespoon full of dough. Roll dough into a ball and be careful not to overwork the dough as it will lose its chill and get too warm.² Roll each dough ball in the granulated sugar until coated. Transfer ball to confectioners’ sugar and roll again until coated evenly. Place the coated dough balls 1-inch apart from each other on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies until set in the centers, 12 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool the cookies on the sheets 2 minutes, then remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Store gingerbread crinkle cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
- Freezing cookie dough: Cookie dough can be frozen ahead of time for up to a month. When ready to bake, let the dough defrost in the fridge so it is still cold when it’s into balls.
- Rolling cookie dough: If the dough does get too warm, simply place the baking sheet with cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before transferring to the oven to bake.
- Suggested tools: Stand mixer, kitchen scale, cookie scoop, baking sheet.
Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated.