Nonfat Gingersnaps Recipe - David Lebovitz (2024)


Nonfat Gingersnaps Recipe - David Lebovitz (1)

When I lived in San Francisco, I used to stop at Whole Foods occasionally and frequent the salad bar. Because I’m a big fan of cookies, I’d oftengrab a cookie for dessert. One day I noticed big, cushy-looking gingersnaps amongst all the other cookies, and picked one out. After finishing my salad, I took the cookie out of the slender brown bag and took a bite.

The cookie was spicy, yet soft – with a remarkable, satisfying chew. It was incredible. And to top it all off, it was nonfat. There was the whole nonfat baking phase and some stuff was okay, and other cookie and cake recipes left me wanting. But those cookies were incredible. And I wanted to reproduce a version at home.

Nonfat Gingersnaps Recipe - David Lebovitz (2)

During my baking trials, I landed on The Barefoot Contessa’s Ultimate Ginger Cookies, and noticed they were remarkably similar-looking to those non-fat Gingersnaps. After checking out the recipe, I tried lots of variations, omitting any and all traces of fat and tweaking a few things here and there to get the cookies to where I wanted them.

Nonfat Gingersnaps Recipe - David Lebovitz (3)

One secret is plain applesauce. That provides the chewiness, along with a dose of molasses.Folks who live outside of the U.S.can use treacle. True, these aren’t crisp and “snappy” like other gingersnaps, but every bit as satisfying. A handful of candied ginger also helps dial up the spicy factor.

This dough is a bit tricky to shape into balls, so it should be very well-chilled before baking them off. If you can, make the batter a few hours or the day before you plan to use it. I found it easiest to scoop up mounds with an ice cream scoop and plop them right into a bed of sugar. Once they were all formed, I got my hands in there, coating them with plenty of cinnamon sugar, and formed each one into a rough ball. Not to worry: they don’t need to be museum pieces and will spread into nearly-perfect circles once baked.

Nonfat Gingersnaps Recipe - David Lebovitz (4)

These cookies also make outstanding ice cream sandwiches, retaining their impressive chew in the freezer. Good ice cream flavors to pair with them out be pumpkin ice cream, cinnamon ice cream, or even traditional vanilla ice cream.The good news is that this means these cookies have the possibility to please absolutely everyone, no matter how you serve them.

Nonfat Gingersnaps Recipe - David Lebovitz (5)


Nonfat Gingersnaps

Recipe from (Ten Speed Press)

The name ginger "snaps" may lead one to think these are crispy, but they’re not. I’m not sure if true gingersnaps necessarily have to be crispy, so I’ll leave that to cookie researchers...a job which I’d be happy to apply for, in case you hear of any openings. If you like thicker, denser cookies, cook 1/2 cup (150g) applesauce down to 1/4 cup (75g), as shown in the picture above, or use apple baby food.Because these are meant to be soft cookies, watch them like a hawk during the final moments of baking. Since all ovens are different, take them out just when they feel like they’re starting to set and feel just slightly firm in the center, which you can tell by touching one gently with your finger.

Course Dessert

  • 1 cup, packed (180g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (75g) applesauce
  • 1/3 cup (100g) molasses, (preferably mild-flavored)
  • 2 1/4 cups (315g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites,, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (50g) finely-chopped candied ginger
  • additional sugar (about 1/2 cup, 100g) , mixed with a big pinch of cinnamon for rolling the cookies
  • In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, applesauce, and molasses for five minutes at medium speed, with the paddle attachment.

  • Meanwhile sift together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.

  • After five minutes, stop the mixer, scrape down the sides, and add the egg whites. Beat another minute.

  • With the mixer at its lowest speed, add the dry ingredients until completely incorporated, and mix on medium for one minute more.

  • Stir in the chopped candied ginger. Chill the batter very well.

  • To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  • Pour some cinnamon-scented granulated sugar in a shallow baking dish. Scoop the cookies into heaping tablespoon-sized balls (about the size of an unshelled walnut) and plunk them down into the sugar. Afterward, use your hands to form the dough into sugar-coated balls: don’t be shy with the sugar either. It not only helps to shape the sticky dough, but makes a lovely crust for the finished cookies.

  • Put the cookie mounds evenly-spaced on the two baking sheets, leaving room (at least 3-inches, 8cm) between them to spread.

  • Bake for 13 minutes, or until the cookies feel just barely set in the center. Remove from oven and cool.

  • Variation: Next time I’m going to try smearing the tops with lemon glaze in the future, mixing 2 cups of powdered sugar with a scant tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, stirring and adding more lemon juice, just until it becomes spreadable, but still very thick.


Storage: You can keep the cookies in an airtight container for up to five days. The batter can be chilled for a week, or frozen, for up to two months, well-wrapped.

Related Recipes

Chez Panisse Gingersnaps

How to Make Candied Ginger

Banana Bread

James Beard’s Amazing Persimmon Bread Recipe

Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunc


Nonfat Gingersnaps Recipe - David Lebovitz (2024)


Do ginger snaps raise cholesterol? ›

Additionally, the saturated fat found in both types of ginger cookies negatively affects your blood cholesterol, which can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Are ginger snap cookies good for inflammation? ›

Snappy Ginger Cookies employ the healing power of ginger to reduce inflammation and settle digestive distress.

Why are my ginger snaps soft? ›

Measure Your Flour Correctly to Ensure Gingersnaps are CRISPY! To avoid ending up with Gingersnaps that are thick and chewy instead of perfectly crispy, make sure to measure your flour accurately with a digital scale. It's all too easy to accidentally add too much flour if you're using cups.

What are the ingredients in great value ginger snaps? ›


What does ginger do to the arteries? ›

Preliminary studies suggest that ginger may lower cholesterol and help prevent blood from clotting. That can help treat heart disease where blood vessels can become blocked and lead to heart attack or stroke. Other studies suggest that ginger may help improve blood sugar control among people with type 2 diabetes.

Is too much ginger bad for heart? ›

Cardiac Problems: Heart palpitations are one of the negative effects of ginger on the heart. Ginger is known to cause heart palpitations, blurred eyesight, and insomnia in high dosages. It can also result in low blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks.

Can you eat too many ginger snaps? ›

Ginger is safe to eat daily, but experts recommend limiting yourself to 3 to 4 grams a day — stick to 1 gram daily if you're pregnant. Taking more than 6 grams of ginger a day has been proven to cause gastrointestinal issues such as reflux, heartburn and diarrhea.

Are ginger cookies good for arthritis? ›

In theory, ginger can reduce the activity of several chemical substances that promote joint inflammation. Results from RCTs assessing its role in treating participants with osteoarthritis found that it has a high safety profile and can have moderately beneficial effects in reducing pain and disability.

Are ginger snaps good for your stomach? ›

Can ginger snap cookies soothe an upset stomach? - Quora. Will ginger candy soothe an upset stomach? Yes it can but make sure it contains real ginger and not too much sugar (since sugar can make stomach issues worse). Other natural ingredients that can help include chamomile, mint, aloe vera, and more.

Why didn t my ginger snaps crack? ›

The oven isn't hot enough. (it needs to set the top before the middle's fully risen) Not enough leavening (it needs to be strong enough to crack the top once it's set) Using a single-acting baking powder (double acting gives extra rise when it gets heated)

What is the difference between ginger nuts and ginger snaps? ›

In North America these cookies are usually called gingersnaps but in Australia and New Zealand they are called ginger nuts. I cannot tell you how delicious these ginger cookies are so I'm just going to sort of beg you to make them.

Why are my ginger snaps puffy? ›

A whole egg (rather than just the yolk) gives the cookie some levity (/puffiness) while keeping the cookie nice and tender. A blend of baking powder and baking soda (rather than just soda)

Who made the original ginger snaps? ›

Gingersnaps have been enjoyed for centuries. In fact, the early versions of these spiced cookies were likely invented by medieval monks in Germany as early as the 13th century. The recipes were passed down through the generations and found their way to America with the early colonists.

What is the difference between ginger snaps and molasses cookies? ›

Gingersnaps typically have a crisp, snappy texture and a spicier, more pronounced ginger flavor, while molasses cookies are soft with a deeper, rich molasses flavor. Can this dough be frozen? Definitely! Just follow the instructions for sugar coated cookies in my post on how to freeze cookie dough.

What are the flavors of ginger snaps? ›

Some go light on the ginger, others use so much it's like they want to set your chest on fire. Then there's allspice, clove, cinnamon, brown sugar, and molasses—all of which are ingredients used interchangeably in ginger snaps and gingerbread cookies. We found this taste test to be very comforting.

Can I eat ginger if I have high cholesterol? ›

One 2014 study showed that ginger can lower your total cholesterol and triglycerides levels, while a study from 2008 showed that it can reduce LDL cholesterol levels and boost HDL cholesterol. You can add raw ginger to food, or take it as a supplement or powder.

Is it bad to eat too many ginger snaps? ›

Eating too much ginger can cause some side effects, including: Upset stomach: Ginger can cause digestive issues such as heartburn, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Stomach irritation: Consuming large amounts of ginger can irritate the stomach lining and cause nausea or vomiting.

Are ginger snap cookies heart healthy? ›

Opting for ginger snaps is a good way to enjoy a dessert while also keeping your saturated fat intake low. Keeping your saturated fat intake low is one way to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.


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