Seasonal Recipe: Spice It up with Pippali Gingersnaps
Fall is decidedly vata season, especially here in Southern Oregon. With longer nights and cold, blustery days, we feel the presence of vata in the environment and within our own physiology.
Are you feeling it too? Maybe you’re noticing dry skin or you can’t keep your feet warm, or maybe a whirlwind of events has left you feeling ungrounded and overwhelmed.
Whether it's the weather or the winds of change that have you feeling frazzled, one thing's for sure. During vata season, we could all use some more comfort and coziness in our lives, as well as more opportunity for fun and play.
An Ayurvedic take on the classic gingersnap cookie, this recipe provides just that—a fun opportunity to play with spices, support your digestion, and treat yourself to some zesty and delectable sweets! (After all, I think we’ve all earned an extra treat or two this year!)
Combining just the right amount of spicy with a little bit of sweet, these cookies are sure to warm your belly and your soul. If you can resist eating all the dough while you make them, you will have a perfect treat for dipping in tea, or enjoy them as a durable road trip snack.
Here's a look at some of the delicious, aromatic spices we'll be working with:
- Pippali. Pippali's robust, peppy flavor and its long list of benefits have made it a go-to spice in Ayurvedic cooking. It adds the perfect amount of “zing” to these cookies.
- Ginger. Versatile, sweet, and spicy, ginger is excellent for cooking a variety of healthy, sattvic meals. It also has a huge list of digestive benefits—from stimulating a healthy appetite and enkindling agni (the digestive fire) to promoting post-digestive comfort.
- Cinnamon. Aromatic and sweet, cinnamon is a star of both sweet and savory dishes, and it offers a multitude of health benefits, like promoting healthy circulation and warmth throughout the body, which makes it a particularly great spice for fall and winter.
- Cardamom. Another of Ayurveda's top spices, cardamom is often used in desserts and baked goods, where it excels not only at being deliciously rich and flavorful, but also at promoting healthy, comfortable digestion.
We’re also working with ghee instead of butter. Ghee is kind of like evolved butter. Starting with butter, it is heated over low heat until the milk solids separate, turning into clarified butter, or ghee. This golden substance is easier to digest and can be used anywhere you would normally use butter.
If you need to plan a quick treat for a later date, this recipe is easy to make ahead of time and the dough can be stored in the fridge or freezer prior to baking. And the best part about these cookies? They are SO GOOD!
Pippali Gingersnap Cookie Recipe
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup ghee
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon clove
- ½ teaspoon pippali
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)
- 1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 large egg and 1 large yolk
- ½ cup turbinado sugar
Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
Add the ghee to a medium-sized pot. Brown the ghee, watching it closely as it can burn, until it reaches a deep amber color. (Your house will start to smell like a candy factory!)
Add the dry spices and sauté until the aroma lifts—this happens quickly. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then mix in the molasses and fresh ginger. Beat in the sugar until smooth and whisk in the eggs.
Next, add the flour combination using a broad spatula and mix well.
Form balls with 1 tablespoon of dough per ball, flattening slightly with your palms until the cookies are about 1 ½ inches wide. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing about one cookie length between them. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Remove plastic wrap. Bake on the top rack for 14–18 minutes, rotating halfway through. Don’t overcook—they’ll firm up outside of the oven once they've cooled.
For a softer cookie, bake for about 14 minutes. For a cookie that “snaps,” bake for about 18 minutes.