I’m a relative latecomer to gingerbread. Neither of my parents are fans of spice cakes and the like, so gingerbread men and houses weren’t a part of my childhood. It wasn’t until college, when one of my best friends suggested a gingerbread making party, that I had my first memorable gingerbread experience; and ever since then I’ve been trying to make up for lost time. I enjoy sneaking in gingerbread spices wherever possible — bread, morning pastries, coffee, cakes, and now — the classic snickerdoodle. And since one of my all time favorite flavor combos is espresso and gingerbread, I also added a bit of espresso powder to make these gingerbread latte snickerdoodles!
These festive snickerdoodles are delightfully simple to make. I’ve added brown butter and brown sugar to add a bit more chew. I also prefer a mix of flours — bread, all purpose, and some type of whole grain flour — for texture and flavor, but all purpose will do just fine as well. A drizzle of white chocolate and a few Crispearls add a little festive flair. I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I do!
Gingerbread Latte Snickerdoodles
Makes 12 cookies
For the gingerbread spice mix:
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- Few cracks of black pepper
For the cookie dough:
- 113g unsalted butter
- 60g light brown sugar
- 60g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg (straight from the fridge is fine)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
- 80g bread flour
- 60g AP flour
- 30g einkorn flour
- 1 1/2 tsp gingerbread spice mix
For the sugar coating and decoration:
- 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar (or cane sugar)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- Remaining gingerbread spice mix
- 30g white chocolate, melted
- Sprinkles or Crispearls
- Combine all the gingerbread spice mix ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, brown the butter. First, melt the butter over low heat; then turn up to medium high and cook, stirring frequently with a silicone spatula, until the butter foams, crackles, then browns. Transfer the butter, along with all the browned bits, to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, and 1 1/2 tsp of the gingerbread spice mix.
- Whisk the brown and granulated sugars into the brown butter until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes to allow the dough to hydrate and solidify slightly. (Cookie dough can be chilled overnight; if chilled for more than a couple hours, allow to soften for 20-30 minutes at room temperature for easier portioning.)
- About 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375F with a rack in the center. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
- Prepare the sugar coating by combining the granulated and brown sugar with the remaining gingerbread spice mix.
- Portion the cookie dough into 12 golf-sized balls, about 35-40 grams each. Roll between hands into a smooth ball, then toss in sugar coating. Space cookies a couple inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake sheets one at a time for 9-11 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cookies should be puffed and the tops starting to crack, but the centers should still look a little soft. After removing the pan, bang it a couple of times on the counter to help deflate the cookies and get that crinkled top. Cool cookies on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When cookies are cooled, melt the white chocolate. Decorate cookies as desired, topping with sprinkles or Crispearls before the chocolate sets. Cookies keep well in an airtight container for about 3 days.