Chez Panisse Gingersnap

Nightclub & Bar's bar food and snack database is composed of tasty treats from top chefs', cooks' and industry experts' food menu creations. Chez Panisse Gingersnap cookies, created by Alice Waters, are perfect for winter holidays and also make excellent holiday cocktail garnish.

Created by Alice Waters and published in The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution


  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1.5 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsps. Ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsps. Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 11 Tbsps. butter, salted or unsalted (at room temperature)
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup mild flavor molasses (also called light molasses)
  • 1 Large egg (at room temperature)
  • Coarse sugar crystals for coating
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Ground cardamom
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Ground cloves
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Allspice


  1. Stir together the dry ingredients.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter just until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until smooth, stopping the mixer to scrape down any butter clinging to the sides of the bowl.
  3. Stir in the vanilla, molasses and egg.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth.
  5. Divide the dough in two equal portions and roll each on a lightly-floured surface until each is about 2-inches (5cm) around. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect; you can neaten them up in a second.
  6. Wrap each in plastic wrap then roll them lightly on the counter to smooth them out. Refrigerate, or better yet, freeze the cookie logs until firm.
  7. To bake, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  8. Slice cookie dough into 1/4-inch (a scant 1 cm) rounds with a sharp knife. Dip one side and press firmly in a bowl of coarse sugar if you want (you can also use granulated sugar instead), and place sugar-side up on baking sheet, evenly-spaced apart. Leave a couple of inches, about 5 cm, between cookies since they’ll spread while baking.
  9. Bake for 10-14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until deep-golden brown. The cookies will puff up a bit while baking, then settle down when they’re done. Bake on the lower end of the range for softer cookies, and more for snappier ones, depending on your oven.
  10. Let the cookies cool two minutes, then remove them with a spatula and transfer them to a cooling rack.

Storage: The dough can be refrigerated for up to five days, or frozen for up to three months. Once baked, the cookies can be kept in an air-tight container for a couple of days but like anything made with butter, of course they’re best the day they’re baked.