Cheap Eats — Katy’s Ginger Snaps

by Katy on March 12, 2011 · 15 comments

Ready to bake!

Henry Ford may have invented the assembly line, but I perfected it.

This recipe is for Wasted Food’s Jonathan Bloom, who recently experienced his first taste of heroin Katy’s ginger snaps. Yeah, these cookies are that good. Sorry there are no photos of the finished cookies, but their time in this world was short lived.

Katy’s Ginger Snaps
Cream together:
  • 3/4 cup of margarine at room temperature (butter makes the cookies spread out too much and ruins the texture)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
Add dry ingredients to the wet until well mixed:
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger
Put cookie dough in the refrigerator to chill. This is also important so they don’t spread out too much while cooking. (I will often chill the dough overnight.)
Scoop out approx. 1 Tbsp amount and roll into a ball. Roll in a sugar/ginger mix. (Maybe 1/4 cup sugar to 1-1/2 Tbsp ginger.)
Place on a cookie sheet and mark with an “X” using a fork.
Cook at 325 degrees for 8-9 minutes. They’re done when the tops are no longer shiny. It’s better to err on the side of undercooking so they’re nice and soft.


This recipe doubles well. I buy my spices in bulk, which is much fresher, (and cheaper!) than the little bottles from the grocery store.
The ability to cook and even bake from regular and inexpensive ingredients is a great life skill. Anyone can cook a gourmet meal from swanky ingredients, but it takes true skill and artistry to concoct something wonderful from the nuts and bolts of pantry staples.


What are your favorite recipes made from seemingly mundane ingredients? Please share them in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Christopher March 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm



Katy March 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm




PigPennies March 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Looks delicious. Where do you buy your spices in bulk? I buy my often used powdered garlic and Italian seasoning from Costco, but I don’t think I’ve seen a huge variety of other spices there…


Katy March 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

I buy my bulk spices at Fred Meyer, even though I know they’re cheaper at Winco. It’s just that I never get to Winco, which is a bit of a schlep from my house.



Marianne March 13, 2011 at 4:43 am

Mexican mac n cheese spices up our lazy dinners. Cook mac n cheese As usual and add cooked cubed chicken, taco seasoning, and salsa. If I dont have salsa on hand i just cut up peppers and tomatoes. Yummmmmmm.


Sue March 13, 2011 at 5:14 am

That would be potato, bacon and onion hotpot. Slices of potato (one big one per person), sliced onions and at least four rashers of bacon chopped. Layer them up in a deep baking dish. Pour over white sauce. You can add cheese to the sauce if you like. Bake for two hours at 170 degrees c.


Bauunny March 13, 2011 at 11:25 am

Salsa chicken. I brown cut up chicken breasts or thighs — then add a bottle of store bought salsa and simmer until cooked through. Serve on rice and witha green veggie.


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary March 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

We make this all the time, but we use Costco’s Mango Salsa. A family favorite. Another similar idea (but totally different taste) is to replace the salsa with cranberry sauce and some dried cranberries. Both are easy and quick, and delicious.


Christina March 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm

My mouth is watering for one of those ginger snaps. My current favorite cheap meal is chickpeas and veggies with yellow curry in coconut milk. Can be served over rice or eaten alone as a stew. I have tried this with lentils but got better results with the chickpeas. Re the bulk spices – I buy from the Indian groceries in my area. The prices are insanely cheap and the spices very fresh.


Tracy Balazy March 14, 2011 at 8:23 am

That sounds divine, Christina! Indian’s my favorite food. My husband’s, too. I have a can of coconut milk; I’ve never cooked with it, I’ll have to look up how to use it.


Karen @ Abundance on a Dime March 14, 2011 at 9:21 am

I make a coconut milk curry that sounds nearly identical to this – it’s one of my family’s favourite meals. I am a coconut milk addict, lol.


Tracy Balazy March 14, 2011 at 8:21 am

I like that recipe, Katy! Simple, yet delicious. I’m going to make them! (My new favorite pairing with ginger snap cookies is Ben & Jerry’s Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler, MMMMM!)

There’s a store by my house in metro Detroit called Bulk Foods, and they carry a good selection of tea, spices, grains, chocolates, and things like TVP (texturized something-protein, you use it in vegetarian/vegan dishes). Within a couple of miles of me, I also have a couple of Asian grocers and a whole row of Indian food stores and restaurants.


Karen @ Abundance on a Dime March 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

My gingersnap recipe’s nearly identical to yours, except mine calls for 2 tsp baking soda, no cloves and a full tablespoon of ginger (I roll them in plain sugar, no ginger). The original recipe called for 3/4 cup shortening, but I use half butter and half coconut oil. They do spread a half decent amount, but not excessively, and the texture is nice and chewy with a crinkle-top. They don’t last long at my house, either 🙂
I think most of the meals we make around here involve transforming simple ingredients to something extra tasty. I guess the most notable would be my “Everything But the Kitchen Sink Lentil Soup”, which is often made mostly from stuff a lot of people would have thrown out, but is always delicious (even my not-overly-fond-of-legumes father thinks it’s great!):
This African-style vegetable stew’s another goody:


Katy March 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

You should add some ginger to the sugar mixture next time. It gives the cookies an extra spicy kick that’s to die for!



Jonathan March 27, 2011 at 7:51 am

Thanks for posting the recipe, Katy! The cookies I brought home went like hot, er…cookies, so it’s high time I make some more. Looks pretty easy, too!

So seriously–butter won’t work? We’re not a margerine household, but I guess I can get some for these crack cookies…


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: