Gingerbread Cookies

EVENT: Valentine’s Day Tins of Treats
Sweets for the Sweet
OTHER SWEETS OF LOVE: Brown Sugar Shortbread; Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies; The Best Brownies; Madeleines; Lotus Blondies; Mexican Wedding Cakes; Raspberry Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream; Pound Cake Baked in a Heart-Shaped Pan

We’re not totally in love with Valentine’s Day. Too many Feb 14ths spent single, and too many spent on lackluster dates (even with people we liked) dictated by crowded restaurants with rip-off prix fixes have made haters out of us. What I thought would be my best Valentine’s Day ever came sophomore year of college when I begged my then-boyfriend to buy me the biggest box of chocolate candy from L.A. Burdick. It took me about a month to get through the box, no matter how hard I attacked, and I gained 5 pounds in the process. Sweet.

Still, we’re not cynical, and since we love sugar, we love occasions when you get to eat more of it. No matter what you’re planning for Sunday, take a couple minutes out of your weekend to mix up a batch of something. If the people in your life like raw cookie dough better than baked, oblige and give them that.

gingersnap dough: one of the best out there

Otherwise, bake your cookies or cakes. Put them in a tin and give to someone you like. Even if that someone is you.

From my kitchen, where sweets are for the sweet, to yours,


In honor of the big old day of love, we’re also giving away five heart-shaped pans, so you can bake cakes in addition to cookies and show how much you really care. We have to thank Lucky Leaf for sponsoring this giveaway–they make pie fillings, and they’re also sponsoring a baking contest of their own in which you could win a thousand bucks.

To win, tell us what your ideal Valentine’s Day Meal would be–that is, what you’d most like to have cooked for you. (To get you started, Phoebe would pick a cozy seafood stew like a cioppino or a bouillabaisse–something hearty but not too heavy, something that doesn’t preclude some serious cuddling afterward. Cara wants Momofuku at home–ginger scallion noodles, pork bo ssam. She also wants to spend the afternoon making dumplings together, then eating them.)

Leave a comment below and let us know how to contact you (in the comments or by email) should you be chosen as a winner.

The 5 lucky bakers will be announced next week!


Double Ginger Snaps
makes about 40 cookies

This recipe was made for Alex by his oldest friend, Emily, when he was home over Christmas. He duly brought the recipe back for me, which led me to discover how delicious these are.

The decorative sugars–clear, gold, and silver (not pictured)–were given to me for Christmas by my one true Valentine: my mother. They’re great fun to use.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
3/4 cup (4.5 ounces) crystallized ginger, chopped
1/2 cup coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Mix together the oil, brown sugar, and molasses in a large bowl. Add the egg and beat to combine. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet, then fold in until just absorbed. Stir in the crystallized ginger.

Put the egg white in a bowl. Spread the coarse sugar on a plate. Roll 1-inch balls of the dough, lightly brush them with egg white, then roll them in the sugar. Put the balls on the pan, about an inch or two apart, and press down to flatten just slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are crackled. Cool on the pans for a few minutes, then remove to a plate.

  • Pallavi

    Wow! i am the first one to comment! :)

    Anyway a perfect meal would be well made indian food like fluffy Basmati rice with black dhal and some sauteed potatoes! :)

  • Lauren

    My ideal meal would be filet with lobster tail. However, it is my Dad's birthday so we are having takeout – Famous Dave Ribs. Nothing says romance like a slab of takeout ribs!!

  • Katherine

    Hmmm, my boyfriend and I usually had a date night during college at a delicious New Orleans' style comfort food restaurant. For Christmas, my mom bought him a New Orleans cookbook and I'd love to try cooking some of our favorites- shrimp and grits, a crisp iceberg wedge with bacon (guilty pleasure) and then breaking away from the New Orleans cookbook for a chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce for dessert!

  • Val

    I hope I don't have to cook since it's our wedding anniversary, but some big cold water Lobster Tails would be my ideal meal :-) A huge piece of homemade chocolate cake would be nice for dessert too!

  • Maneka

    My ideal meal is butternut squash ravioli in a sage butter sauce with fresh snap peas on the side and creme brulee served with fresh berries for dessert. Also a nice bottle of Malbec to go with the meal.

  • Kate

    Mmm, these cookies sound delicious. And, as a fan of raw cookie dough, I think I'd like some homemade break and bake cookies for my freezer. But as for the main course, I'd love to start with dumplings (like Cara) and then have a delicious bowl of soup complete with a plethora of slurpy noodles. Though this Valentine's Day, I will be with my family–and I think the possibility of fresh seafood, in season non-root vegetables, and sweet fresh fruit in the warmth of sunlight is going to be the perfect way to celebrate.

  • Kaitlyn

    My ideal meal is what my boyfriend makes every year: fillet mignon, twice baked potatoes, grilled asparagus and molten chocolate cake. Yum!

  • Lisa

    I'm pretty excited for the meal we have planned- we're making Bittman's coffee chile short ribs (yum:, but dessert is up in the air: almond cake? Linzer? Pavlova? Those killer chocolate cookies you posted a few months ago…

  • Christine

    I am single this Valentine's Day, so I would make myself something that I otherwise would be too intimidated to try out! I would love to try a roasted rack of lamb (including the fancy frenching technique) and some mint sauce. And maybe, just because it's Valentine's Day, some chewy, homemade brownies. :)

  • Will

    Hmmm I think if you're cooking on Valentine's Day, you should keep it light?

    How about some nice Capellini pasta with Sauteed Shrimp, Broccoli, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Garlic, etc…

  • Kelly and Molly

    Valentine's Day is about what you love and there is nothing that I loved having more growing up than the homemade grilled sharp cheddar and egg sandwiches that my mom would make, dipped in homemade strawberry jam, salsa or whatever was around the kitchen. And on the holiday, which we spent together many years, she would cut them into heart shapes follwed with some chocolate baked good, of course.

  • Andrew Curtis

    Shrimp & Grits, Cornbread skillet, and a fruit sorbet for dessert.

    Except for the sorbet, i might even cook this for myself this weekend

  • Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions

    This is hard because I'm usually the chef. The thought of having my fiance go into the kitchen and cook something and not be a part of it is making me nervous!

    My own insanity aside, my perfect meal is one we did a few Valentine's ago.. Alton Brown's ribs, slow braised in the oven. We did it together, and then hung out all day while they cooked. Ideally, I'd eat them with cornbread and some baked beans and cous cous. Because I love cous cous. Yum.

  • Alex

    Three pounds of slow cooked pork butt! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • jasmine

    Any region's soul food would be great, but my ideal meal would have to be a mole. Spicy with a hint of chocolate sounds perfect for Valentine's Day. And after using almost every pan, utensil, and appliance I own to make it for myself, to make it for someone else must really mean you're in love. :)

  • lily

    pork belly. because no one can judge you for eating a delicious, crispy piece of pork belly on valentine's day. and definitely, definitely chocolate mousse. definitely.

  • Jillian

    For most of my date nights I generally make a standard massive meat dish (I actually have been making BGSK's short ribs a lot and everytime I do I think my boyfriend loves me a little more). But for this Valentine's day I was thinking of going outside my safety cooking box. A couple months ago my boyfriend and I went to an incredible dinner at Zahav, an Israeli tapas bar in Philly that got best of Philadelphia last year. We split the chef's testing menu which began with freshly made hummus severed hot and with fresh pita and ended with this incredibly ridiculous lamb shoulder that was braised for 7 days or something absurd. It was one of the best dinners that either of us have ever eaten. We spent most of the meal just saying mmmmmm.

    For this Valentine's day (or the day we decide on after one of my numerous med school tests) I was planning on trying to recreate that lamb shoulder. But given that I am busy working graduate student with no possible time to braise something for 5 hours let alone a whole week, I would love love love if BGSK could help me come up with a recipe for slow-cooked lamb shoulder that can be incorporated into my very busy schedule. Otherwise I will just resort to spending all my money on a nice bottle of wine and closing my eyes and picking between my delivery menus.

  • Diana

    My idea of a perfect Valentine's dinner would be orange marinated roast duck with scalloped sweet potatoes and carrots sauteed in a citrus sauce and a slice of homemade onion and dill bread. For dessert I'd want pound cake drizzled with chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries.

  • Annika

    Perfect meal would be roasted rack of lamb with mint sauce. A brownie sundae a la mode would finish it off nicely.

  • Chef Aimee

    I am lukewarm about Valentine's Day, but not about this recipe. I love ginger so much in any form!

  • mer

    easy–spaghetti with bottarga, a big salad, very rich brownies for dessert, and lots and lots of champagne! totally romantic but not fussy at all.

  • Maddy

    I think I would like to make homemade pad thai together and eat it, and then for dessert have cheesecake that I made.

    dawsonevergreen at yahoo dot com

  • Colleen

    My ideal Valentine's meal would be osso bucco and a side of orzo made by my loving husband.

  • Laura [What I Like]

    Best Valentine's Day ever was the first one with my current boyfriend. I told him not to bother with a restaurant and went all out with a home cooked meal instead…delicious. I'm totally on board with the box of sweets idea as a follow-up!

  • Emma Kelsey

    I'm thinking fondue, a nice green salad, and some fresh berries. What could be better?

  • Courtney

    My fiance and I have a tradition of just getting a great pizza and having a bottle of Veuve. This year we are changing it up and he's going to make pizza from scratch, I can't wait!

  • adelaide


    I would have to say cocktail jumbo shrimp to start (I know, I'm a traditionalist) and then a big, yummy steak with bernaise sauce. And to finish it all off – strawberries dipped in white chocolate and ginger ice cream.

  • shayma

    I love the crystallised ginger in your recipe. it looks delicious. x shayma

  • Amanda

    My perfect Valentine's day meal would be home-made mezzaluna stuffed with ricotta, spinach, and chicken topped with a marinara-cream sauce served with a warm spinach salad with bacon, strawberries, and a balsamic vinaigrette. For dessert-home made black and white truffles…Ina's recipe of course!

  • Lisa

    oh gosh – anything Italian… pasta, cheese… wine… that works for me!

  • tina

    For Valentine's Day all I need is a nice champaign and take out Pad Thai, and my husband, of course!!

  • Stephanie

    Seared scallops with a lobster sauce and mashed potatoes… or skip dinner all together and just huge brownie sundaes with all the toppings! My boyfriend is a great cook, but not so much a baker, so that would be extra special.

  • frooz

    my perfect meal would be persian rice with boneless saffron chicken onions and tomato. Also homemade iranian bread too from a brick oven. PHOEBE I WANNA WIN!!! love, frooz

  • Granny55

    My perfect meal would be a nountain of pre cracked crab legs with warm clarified butter for dipping followed by a good cup of coffee with s slice of cheesecake with a fresh fruit topping!

  • foconnor

    Definitely support the made-at-home valentine's dinner, but would rather not spend the whole day in the kitchen. Too eager to spend time in the snow with my valentine! How about a fruity spinach salad w/ strawberries, pine nuts, and an apple cider vinaigrette, followed by parmesan crusted salmon (easy and tasty, just need fresh salmon — preferably Alaskan– plus some butter and parmesan cheese), served with fresh string beans and a creamy polenta. Finish it off with a poached pear cooked in cranberry shrub with a sprig of mint and a spoonful of vanilla bean ice cream.
    …All easy and quick to prepare, light, fruity, delicious, and likely to look harder to do than it really was.
    faon dot oconnor at gmail dot com

  • Susie

    I would like Baja Fish Tacos. Preferably those from the Woody Creek Tavern outside of Aspen, Colorado, or imitation ones. And although it wouldn't be a standard (or seasonal) dessert to follow Fish Tacos with: fresh berries or strawberry shortcake for dessert.

  • ZarpandiT

    hmmm valenties day meal..baked macaroni & cheese,some potatoes+ chocolate truffle tart! yay delicious! :)

  • Phoebe and Cara, The Quarter-Life Cooks

    Hi Everyone!

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful meal ideas–they were positively mouthwatering and heart-warming to read!

    If you didn't catch it on today's post, the luck winners are…drumroll…


    Please CONTACT US at with your address!!

    -Phoebe and Cara

  • Stephanie

    I love my new heart shaped pan!!!!! I can't wait to bake a love treat for my boyfriend and special friends! Thank you Phoebe and Cara!

  • alex

    Wow. Thanks for posting this! Thsi is really great! I will not miss this place in our Philadelphia dating getaway! Thanks a lot!

  • Mili

    these were the best gingerbread cookies i’ve ever had. thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • holidaybaker

    I just made these gingerbread cookies and they smell and taste amazing!

Need more desserts? A Baker's Dairy-Free Dozen.

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