Old Fashioned Ginger Snap Cookies


December 10, 2018

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These Swedish Pepparkakor Gingersnap Cookies are perfectly sweet with just the right amount of warming ginger and winter spices that can be served plain or with icing, and can even be used to decorate with during the holidays.

Gingersnaps are arguably our families favorite Christmas cookie, and something me and my sisters always looked forward to during the holidays. Since the gingersnap dough has to chill in the refrigerator overnight my sisters and I would always sneak some of the dough when my Mom wasn’t looking — but I’m pretty sure she knew what we were up to.

While this gingersnap recipe isn’t our family favorite, it is a twist on the Swedish Pepparkakor Gingersnap Cookies. While gingersnaps come in many forms this gingersnap recipe is the perfect mix between a soft and hard gingersnap. With a nice crisp on the outside and a slightly soft center, these gingersnap cookies are guaranteed to be enjoyed.

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What I love so much about about gingersnaps is that they are a welcome twist from all the holiday sugar cookies. The slightly sweet and spicy flavor of gingersnaps makes it one of the coziest Christmas cookies, and as far as I am concerned the more ginger the better.

In fact, in Sweden these Pepparkakor Gingersnap Cookies used to be much spicier than they are today and included pepper, which was thought to help rid sickness. Pepparkakor historically were also used as symbols based on the shapes they were cut into. The pig shape was seen as a sign of fertility, while the heart shape was thought to make a person kinder.

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When making these Swedish Pepparkakor Gingersnaps it’s important to make sure that you let the dough chill in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out and cutting. This will help keep the dough together and is especially important when baking gluten free.

After allowing the dough to chill in the fridge it will be pretty hard so make sure to let it warm up for a few minutes before trying to work the dough. I personally like to take chunks off of the dough and knead them a few times with my hands just to make the dough slightly more malleable. The key is to be able to get the dough so you can easily roll it out, but not too warm that it begins to stick and becomes difficult to cut into shapes.

This recipe makes a lot of cookies so if you are only looking to make a small batch I would recommend storing half of your dough in the freezer to use at a later date.

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Swedish Pepparkakor Gingersnap Cookies (Gluten Free)


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (I used bob’s red mill)

  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon cardamom

  • 2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3/4 cup cane sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup mollasses

  • 1 large egg


  • In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.

  • Next, add the egg and molasses to the mixing bowl and mix until well combined.

  • In a separate mixing bowl combine the gluten free flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and cardamom.

  • Whisk dry ingredients to remove any clumps and then slowly begin to add the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix well until a thick dough forms.

  • Next, remove dough from mixer and roll into a log. Wrap the dough in parchment paper and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  • Once dough has chilled remove from refrigerator and allow the dough to warm up for a few minutes.

  • Next, separate the dough into four quarters and begin to roll out each piece to 1/4 inch thickness.

  • Cut the dough into any shape you like and then place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat until all dough has been used (you can also store any unused dough in the freezer to use at a later time).

  • Bake for about 8 minutes and then remove from oven. Allow to cool before removing from baking sheet.

Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN

Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN

Megan is a maternal-child health dietitian and mom of two. With nearly a decade of experience working in maternal-child nutrition both domestically and abroad, Megan is passionate about supporting mothers and their little ones through pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond.

Megan especially loves helping to nourish families with simple, delicious recipes that both children and adults will enjoy. All of the recipes at MADRE are gluten free, and focused on celebrating food culture, seasonality, and supporting the nutritional needs of growing children, mothers, and families.

Megan holds a MS in Nutrition and MPH in Global Health from Tufts University, and received her dietetic license (RDN) from Brigham and Women's Hospital. She has advanced training in pediatric nutrition and baby led weaning, and is currently working towards becoming a certified lactation consultant.

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Meet Meg

Mom of two girls under two, and registered dietitian specializing in prenatal, postpartum, and infant wellness. My passion for supporting moms and babies began more than a decade ago, but nothing made me more committed to helping moms and babies thrive than going through my own pregnancy and postpartum journey.

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