If you like your gingersnaps extra gingery, add one tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger.

Makes about 5 dozen

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus additional for rolling
1 large egg
3 tablespoons dark molasses
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2½ to 3½ teaspoons ground ginger
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Combine the butter and 1 cup of the sugar and mix, by hand or by machine, until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg, molasses, and vanilla and continue beating until smooth. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients.

3. To form the cookies, make one large log, roll in white sugar, cover with waxed paper and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour and up to 2 weeks.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a cookie sheet.

5. With the tip of a very sharp knife, slice off thin rounds and place on the prepared cookie sheet.

6. Place in the oven and bake until the cookies just begin to brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. If you like your cookies slightly soft, decrease the time and remove from the sheet as soon as they come out of the oven. If you prefer crisp cookies, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. Cool baking sheets between batches.

7. Cool cookies before storing in an airtight container.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)