Ma’s Ginger Snaps from Iced Under

by Barb, barefoot and just out of the pool in Key West (don’t hate me), but writing this post for my friends up north

IcedunderfrontcoverIced Under, the newest Maine Clambake Mystery, takes place in the dead of a Maine winter. In the book, Julia Snowden’s mother, Jacqueline, bakes these cookies with her granddaughter Page to keep her entertained on a snowy day. In reality, these are cookies my grandmother made.

From the book–

When my cousins get together, one memory we all share is my grandmother’s ginger snaps. It was a joy to find them in your mailbox at camp, or on a bluesy day in your college dorm. They always came in a coffee can, lined on the inside with wax paper and taped shut. The cookies provided instant comfort and could be hoarded or shared, depending on your mood.


1½ sticks butter, melted
2 cups granulated white sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 egg, beaten lightly
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon each cloves, allspice, nutmeg, mace
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt


Mix the melted butter, 1 cup of the sugar, and the molasses. (Put aside the remaining cup of sugar.) When the mixture is cool, fold in the lightly beaten egg. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and mace. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix thoroughly with a mixer or food processor.

Dough will form itself into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and put into refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Shape cold dough into balls using a small melon baller. Roll the balls in sugar to coat completely. Place the balls at least 2 inches apart on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, to allow for expansion.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.


Readers: Do you have a favorite recipe for an inclement day? Tell us what it is!


30 Thoughts

  1. Thanks, Barb! Since it’s zero out this morning, just the thought of those cookies in the oven warms me up! I like to make fresh whole wheat bread on stormy days, and throw-everything-in-plus-some-curry-powder stews. I’ve been known to mail Christmas cookies to my son in Puerto Rico, and one year, after hearing the nostalgia in his voice at hearing I’d gone blueberry picking, I picked more, packed up the best, and send him fresh New England blueberries overnight.

    I’m halfway through ICED UNDER and loving it.

    1. So glad you are enjoying Iced Under, Edith.

      I, too, have mailed Christmas cookies to children in farflung places, and the first year my son was at UCLA and couldn’t make it to Key West for the family vacation, I mailed him a commercially-baked Key Lime Pie. Expensive and crazy, but I missed him.

  2. Nothing better than a warm kitchen scented with such lovely spices on a cold winter’s day! I have a gingerbread recipe that I feel the same way about. The only change I’d make to yours is to use a silver-plated soup spoon that was my grandmother’s–for some reason it’s the perfect size for a single cookie.

    1. Good tip about the soup spoon. Not everyone is in a place where there’s a melon-baller. I love gingerbread, and it triggers a similar nostalgia.

  3. I love Ginger Snaps. But I’d have to go with Chocolate Chip cookies on a cold, wintry day. There’s something about the gooey chocolate as you pull apart the cookie that is very comforting. And makes all the time spent outside clearing snow worth it. 🙂 Enjoy the pool!

    1. I love chocolate chips, too! Though I don’t have a favorite recipe. My sister-in-law makes them for family events, so I’ve never learned.

  4. I’m barefoot too, inside my house, looking for my socks because it’s 13 out. I’m not much of a baker but my daughter makes a mean chocolate chip cookie with an Oreo stuffed in the middle.

  5. I love that the cookies were placed in a lined coffee can. Sounds so comforting, and like something my grandmother would do (my dad’s nickname for her was “Cakes”).
    I don’t have a particular recipe, but I need to look for one because it’s cold and I could use some baking comfort. ( :

  6. Cookies in a coffee can . . . when recycling was always the thing to do…before recycling became the “in” thing.

    Wow,, does that bring back wonderful memories. My favorites were oatmeal, and they stayed fresh, too.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane and the recipe. It’s a bit different than my mom’s but I’ll give it a try. Marilyn Johnston (aka cj petterson)

    *Choosing Carter* — Amazon Print / Kindle / B&N print and Nook / KOBO / iTunes/iBooks

    *Deadly Star **– *Amazon Print / Kindle / B&N print and Nook / KOBO

    Amazon Central Author Page: blog at: maj

    On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 3:53 AM, Wicked Cozy Authors wrote:

    > Barbara Ross posted: “by Barb, barefoot and just out of the pool in Key > West (don’t hate me), but writing this post for my friends up north Iced > Under, the newest Maine Clambake Mystery, takes place in the dead of a > Maine winter. In the book, Julia Snowden’s mother, Jacqu” >

  7. Sounds delicious to me!

    It was 70 yesterday afternoon and now it’s overcast, cold (for So Cal) and raining, and it’s supposed to stay that way all week. We need the rain, so I’m not complaining. It’s nice to have winter again. (Ask me again in a month and I might be singing a different tune.)

  8. No inclement weather go to’s come to mind unless it’s chili. But for some reason it reminded me of the time as a very young newlywed (well before the age of computers) I was scanning a cookbook for a treat I could make the hubby and came across “Divinity”. I had all the ingredients so thought I’d give it a go. After 1.5 hrs of whipping it with my hand held mixer, and a wrist about to fall off, I called a neighbor and she told me about how humidity effects Divinity! We ate it anyway, very chewy, and laugh about it now 🙂

  9. I just got back from our regular group walk in Ottawa. It was a chilly -17C/1F with windchills of -25C/-13F. We walked 15 km/9.3 miles. I don’t have cookies as a reward and do very little baking these days. Instead, I have a nice hot bowl of homemade green chili stew to enjoy for lunch.

      1. Thanks, Barb. I walked another 5 km/3.1 miles this afternoon and reached my daily goal. Now I can relax and READ!

  10. I’m tempted, except I have the exhaust vent sealed due to frigid temperatures (9*F this morning).

      1. Yesterday it was 9*F/-13*C, but it is supposed to get up to 60*F/16*C on Thursday before plunging again.

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