How to Make Soft and Crunchy Gingersnaps with the Same Dough
If there’s one thing that everyone in your family can agree on over the holidays it’s that homemade cookies are the best part of the season. However, when it comes to cookie preferences that’s usually where the consensus ends. While some prefer their baked goods soft and supple, others want their sweets to put up a bit of a bite, preferring crunchier batches with a satisfying snap.
Though there are a number of ingredient swaps that can be made to alter the texture of your cookies—including the type of fat, flour, and sugar used in the recipe—when you’re in a time crunch and can only manage to prepare a single batch of dough, it’s possible to fulfill your family’s cravings for both soft and crunchy cookies by making a few small adjustments to the baking process.
When it comes to a timeless holiday favorite, gingersnaps, chances are you’ll have family members who prefer their cookies on opposite sides of the texture spectrum. One of the benefits of this classic cookie—in addition to making your house smell incredible—is that the baking process can easily be modified to achieve both desired textures.
With these tips, you can create batches that will satisfy all of your houseguests, without having to perform the extra work of making two different batches of dough. Start with a classic Gingersnap recipe, or give your cookies an upgrade with a layer of crystallized ginger.
What ultimately makes the difference between soft and crispy cookies is the amount of liquid that evaporates form the dough during the baking process. This amount can be influenced by a number of factors, including the original liquid quantity of the dough, the oven temperature, and the length of the baking process.
If you have time to bake your soft and crispy gingersnaps separately, adjust the oven temperature to fit the texture you’re hoping to achieve with each batch. Crispy cookies will benefit from baking at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, giving them a chance to spread and flatten while baking, increasing the surface area that moisture can escape from.
On the other hand, soft cookies are best baked for a shorter amount of time at a higher temperature, allowing them to firm up quickly without releasing too much moisture. Keep a close eye on the batch as they bake, and take them out of the oven when the edges have become fully brown, but the middle is just starting to brown.
If you’re short on time and attempt to bake both your soft and crunchy batches at once, be mindful of the shape of your cookie dough, as well as hierarchy in the oven.
Round balls of cookie dough take longer to bake and retain more moisture inside, which results in soft, thick cookies. On the other hand, pre-flattened dough will result in thinner, crisper cookies when baked at the same temperature.
Depending on the location of the heat sources in your oven, the position cookies are placed at will impact the speed at which they bake. Since heat rises, sheets on the top rack will experience a more intense heat, resulting in crispier cookies. However, sheets lower in the oven—and placed further from the heat sources—will be less affected by the heat, resulting in less moisture evaporation.
When baking two batches at the same temperature, be sure to remove the softer batch a couple of minutes before the crunchier cookies, resulting in treats that are crisp on the edges, but doughier and more pliable in the center.
After you’ve baked your two varieties of Gingersnaps to perfection, be sure to store the soft and crunchy cookies separately. This will ensure the excess moisture in the softer batch doesn’t seep into the crunchy cookies, making them go soggy. Brush up on your holiday cookie storage protocol here.