These are the best ginger cookies with candied ginger I have ever made! The gingersnaps have a chewy center and crispy edges; they are flavorful and loaded with pieces of crystallized or candied ginger.
This ginger cookies with candied ginger recipe was this year's revelation regarding cookies. This is an easy recipe for a delicious holiday cookie full of great flavor, warmth, and comfort.
Every December, I make quite a few different sorts of delicious cookies, but mostly the same ones, our traditional ones.
Cookies like these Classic Thumbprint Cookies, the Chewy German Hazelnut Macaroons – Nussmakronen, the Vanillakipferl Recipe (my number ones forever), the Cornflake Cakes (always for my husband), the German Gingerbread Cookies, or the colorful German Butter Cookies that I've been making with the kids (and godchildren and neighbor's children) since my son was three years old.
But every year, I try a few new cookie recipes, and although we like most of them, I am rarely as enthusiastic as I am right now. These gingersnap cookies with candied ginger are so good you can’t stop eating them, and I am sure I will make them again and again for the years to come.
Update 2022: Since the first time I posted this recipe, I’ve been making these gingersnaps at least two or three times a year (and not only during the holiday season), and they are a hit every time.
Candied ginger or crystallized ginger. What is the difference between them?
- Candied ginger is chunks of ginger root preserved and kept in sugar syrup, while crystallized ginger is the candied ginger that has been coated in sugar and it’s kept in bags.
- I tend to use crystallized ginger just because it’s easier to find at the supermarket. However, I’ve used pieces of ginger in syrup many times to make these cookies.
- If you use syrup ginger, pat it dry with a paper towel before chopping it.
- Butter: Preferably unsalted butter with 82% fat (European-style butter).
- One large egg at room temperature.
- Ground ginger for a more intense ginger flavor.
- All-purpose flour (plain flour) and white granulated sugar.
- Raising agents: Baking powder and baking soda.
- Vanilla extract
How to make ginger cookies with candied ginger?
- You will need a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer. Ensure the butter is soft; remove it from the refrigerator a few hours before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 360°F/ 180°C. If using a fan-assisted oven, which will allow you to bake two trays of cookies simultaneously, preheat that to 320°F/ 160°C. Line two baking sheets or cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Ginger: If using candied ginger in syrup, pat it dry with a paper towel. Chop the ginger into small pieces (1).
- Wet ingredients: Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla at high speed in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes; the sugar doesn't need to be dissolved; I think the fact that the sugar was not wholly dissolved made the candied ginger cookies crunchier. Add the egg to the mixture and mix again. Scrape. (2).
- Dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ground ginger. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and incorporate it carefully (scrape the bottom of the bowl) (3).
- Mix the ginger bits into the dough with a wooden spoon and scrape the bowl again (4).
- Form small balls of dough the size of a walnut; you will have between 35 and 40 cookie dough balls. Press them lightly and place them on the baking sheets, leaving enough space between them; they will spread a little (5).
- Bake the cookies for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden (6).
- Repeat with the next batch, but ensure that the baking tray is cooled before placing new dough balls on it. Keep the dough waiting to be baked refrigerated; the dough should be cold, so the cookies don’t spread too much.
- Leave the gingersnap cookies on the tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Can you use other candied or crystallized fruit to make the cookies?
- I made the same cookies with homemade crystallized pineapple and candied cherries from a jar.
- The pineapple version was the same in texture; only the flavors were different, sweeter, and not spicy, but delicious.
- The candied cherry ones were softer and juicier than the candied ginger cookies; they spread a bit more in the oven due to that extra moisture. The children loved them, and it was at their request that I used the cherries, but ginger cookies remain the best for me.
- It is best to use a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients (Amazon affiliate link). This recipe was also tested using a measuring cup, but the metric measurement guarantees the best results. Butter and flour are difficult to measure consistently using cups.
- Chilling: Refrigerate the dough still waiting to be baked, don’t keep it on the counter. It will soften if it stays at room temperature for too long, and the crystallized ginger cookies will spread too much during baking. You can form the dough balls for the subsequent batches as soon as you have the first batch in the oven and keep them in the refrigerator on a large plate until it’s their turn to be baked.
- It’s best to use at least two baking trays when baking the cookies and a fan-assisted oven, which will allow you to bake two trays of cookies simultaneously. The baking trays should be cool when you place the cookie dough balls on them.
Keep the candied ginger or crystallized ginger cookies in an airtight container or cookie jar for 4-5 days.
Freeze the cookies for up to two months. Place them on a cookie sheet or large plate and freeze them. Once solid, transfer them to a freezer container or freezer bag. Defrost on the counter.
Freeze the cookie dough balls for up to two months as well. Freeze them until solid, as instructed above, then transfer them to another container.
Bake them from frozen, adding a few minutes to the cooking time.
More delicious cookies
The Best Ginger Cookies with Candied Ginger
- Stand mixer with a paddle attachment or electric hand mixer
- Baking trays Note 1
- 150 g candied ginger or crystallized ginger chopped, 5.5 oz
- 120 g unsalted butter soft, 1 stick + ½ tablespoon, Note 3
- 200 g granulated sugar 7 oz/ 1 cup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg large
- 250 g all-purpose flour 9 oz/ 2 cups, Note 4
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Preheat the oven to 360°F/ 180°C (fan-assisted oven 320°F/ 160°C). Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- Chop the candied ginger into small pieces. Set it aside.
- Wet ingredients: Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes; the sugar doesn't need to be completely dissolved. Add the egg to the mixture and mix well. Scrape the bottom and the walls of the bowl and mix again.
- Dry ingredients: Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ground ginger in another bowl. Add them to the butter mixture and incorporate them carefully. Use a spoon to mix the chopped candied ginger into the dough, scraping the bowl again.
- Form cookies: Break small pieces of the dough, and form little balls about the size of a walnut (about 35-40). Press them lightly with your palm. Place them on the baking sheets, leaving enough space between them; they will spread a little.
- Bake: When the first baking tray is full of cookies, place it immediately in the oven and bake the cookies for about 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely golden.
- Next batch: Start forming the cookies for the second tray. If using a fan-assisted oven, you can bake two trays simultaneously. If using a regular oven, place the remaining batches of dough or shaped cookies in the fridge while the first batch is baking (Notes 5, 6).
- Let the baked cookies rest on the tray for about 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Use at least two baking trays and a fan-assisted oven, if possible, so that you can bake two batches of cookies at the same time. Always let the tray cool completely before putting the next cookies on it. Otherwise, the ingredients in the dough will start to melt, and the cookies will spread too much.
- Candied ginger is chunks of ginger preserved and kept in syrup, while crystallized ginger is the candied ginger that has been coated in sugar and it’s kept in bags. If you use syrup ginger, pat it dry with a paper towel before chopping it.
- Use European-style butter with 82% fat. Please don’t use lower-fat alternatives when baking cookies unless the recipes are developed using that kind of butter.
- Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it guarantees the best results (Amazon affiliate link). Especially flour and butter are tough to measure consistently using cups. I measured the flour using cups and had 2 cups, but that might differ from one person to another.
- Chilling: Keep the dough that is still waiting to be baked refrigerated. You can form all the balls at once and keep them in the fridge until it’s their turn to be baked.
- Let the baking trays cool before placing the next cookie dough on them.