From Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes, by David Lebovitz (2010).
The name gingersnaps may lead one to think these are crispy, but they’re not. 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.
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1/3 cup mild-flavored molasses
2 1/4 cups 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 finely-chopped candied ginger
additional 1/2 cup sugar 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, wrapped in wax paper.
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
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 between them to spread.
Bake for 13 minutes, or until the cookies feel just barely set in the center. Remove from oven and cool.
Makes 20-22 cookies