Crispy Gingersnaps

To say that I’m a homebody is something of an understatement. I’ve said before that my favorite part of a night out is coming home to my pajamas — and I much prefer a night in at that. I spent most of the summer — against all advice to the contrary — studying for the bar exam in my apartment, watching the lectures online and taking practice exams in my sweats. With the exception of the occasional trip to my favorite coffee shop, I was content (as content as you can be studying for the bar) with this staying at home approach.  Maybe it’s just me, but spending half an hour (or more) to get ready and pack my books and snacks, then another 20 minutes to walk to the library where I would inevitably search for a good spot away from distraction, freeze in the air conditioning, and get hungry at some point and have to go out to buy some lunch just seems to add more stress than is necessary to the already stressful process of studying.

The same reasoning applies when I cook. If I can make something with what I have at home, I’d rather put off a hectic trip to the store, waiting in long lines and braving the cold. So even though I’ve had this recent obsession with making some sort of a chocolate-orange bread this week, I ran out of oranges this afternoon and decided against running out for more, which left little else but some pantry items and a few randomly purchased limes. I’ve been oggling Elana’s Ginger Cookie recipe for quite some time, and figured my recent purchase of ground ginger was a sign that I finally needed to tackle my own version of this classic treat…

I used yacon syrup in these cookies for the molasses-like color and taste, but without the high-glycemic index and with an added prebiotic boost. Yacon is one of those ingredients I’m hesitant to experiment with — at over $13 a (small) bottle, it’s a bit of a risk. It’s also hard to find around here, so I order mine online. So basically, if I screw up a recipe using yacon, not only am I out 13 bucks, but I need to go online and order some more. Not cool. Still, my (online) friend (sadly, I’ve never actually met her) and anti-candida diet baking pro Ricki Heller tells me that yacon is safe on a candida diet. Plus, its unparalleled unique flavor makes it hard to resist entirely.

Well, I guess I got lucky this time around. Not only were these cookies a success , but they might actually be my favorite thing I’ve baked to date. They’re not too sweet (yacon yields a sort of understated sweetness), quite gingery and spicy (beware gingerphobes, this one’s not for you!), and perfectly crisp. They’re also a great gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan holiday cookie option, both for parties and for gifts. I used lime zest here because, well, I had no other “zests” available. And while I actually thought the lime worked really nicely with the other flavors here, I’m pretty sure lemon or orange zest would be good as well.

Yield: about 14 cookies

Crispy Gingersnaps:

Note that almond flours can vary significantly among brands. So if you’re using another brand of almond flour, be aware that results may vary , and that you may need to increase the amount of shortening or liquid to compensate (in my experience, other almond flours tend to be less “wet” than Bob’s Red Mill).

½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour

1 cup + 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Corn Flour (not cornmeal)

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons ground ginger

5 tablespoons Spectrum organic shortening

½ cup yacon syrup

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

zest of 1 lime


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, run flours, baking soda, salt and ginger through for about 10 seconds, or until flours are fine and ingredients are combined. Add remaining ingredients and process until dough comes together into a ball. Dough should hold together loosely, and will seem slightly more “wet” than a typical cookie dough.

3. Roll tablespoon-sized pieces of dough with palms into even spheres. Lay on parchement-lined baking sheet, a couple inches apart, and slightly flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, or until cookies are browned around the edges and golden brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes on the parchment before removing to a wire rack to cool completely (note: cookies will harden as they cool).


  1. says

    Cookies look great! We love yacon syrup use it all the time :) Glad you enjoy it too! I know it is pricey but worth it in my opinion! Hopefully one day all these ingredients will be more affordable for us all ;)


  2. says

    Mmm! Delish! Do you think these would work with molasses? I haven’t be able to break down and pay for yacon! Also, I love ginger snaps/cookies….are these even more so? If so, could I just decrease the ginger a little? By how much? Thanks! Ari

  3. Beth says

    Lori — I agree. I definitely think it’s worth it, I just hate wasting it in recipes that don’t end up turning out. Argh. Yes! Hopefully one day it will be more affordable! Thanks for your comment : )

    Ariana — I THINK molasses could work, though I have no idea how it would affect the overall taste and texture of the cookies. I know, if yacon weren’t so pricey, I would use it a lot more. Ugh. You could try decreasing the ginger to 1 tablespoon and tasting the dough (the beauty of cooking without eggs) to see how much more you want from there. Thanks for your comment.

  4. says

    Oh my gosh, Beth, these are perfect! I have all the ingredients except the corn flour … thinking I’ll try my gf flour mix to replace that.

    I’m totally like you on using what I have on hand and despite my occasional travel bug nature also being near hermit status quite often. ;-)

    I agree on Ricki … she’s the baking whiz kid when it comes to healthy, anti-candida, etc. I hope to meet her one day, too. Maybe we can all venture “out” and have a group meeting one day. :-)

    Shirley @ gfe recently posted..Little Cayman Beach Resort Review

  5. Beth says

    Thanks, Shirley! I’ll be anxious to hear how it turns out with your flour mix, if you decide to go for it. And I DEFINITELY think we should all get together one day! How fun would that be? Would love to meet all you gurus in person ; )

  6. says

    Dang! Now I’m kicking myself for not getting the yacon I was mulling over ordering online! I convinced myself out of it based on the cost and the general lack of recipes I have to use it in. :( These look delicious and if I do end up getting some yacon, I will definitely have to give them a go.
    K recently posted..Tea Giveaway!

  7. Karina says

    Dear Beth

    I found your blog through

    I’ve just started making my own gingersnaps but so far have turned out chewy not crisp! I bake a lot but am a small eater, been feeling guilty about the mounds of butter, sugar and flour I leave around for my family to consume!! I am excited about the lime zest and the no sugar, and alternative to white flour.

    I live in Singapore and just ordered a bottle of yacon online from the USA, will have to wait a week to make these! We actually have Bob’s Red Mill here, phew!

    I never bake with shortening so I think I will try regular shortening first, any substitutes possible?

  8. Beth says

    Hi Karina — I met a good friend abroad who was from Singapore, though unfortunately, I’ve never been… That’s great that you have Bob’s Red Mill there, though! I like Spectrum shortening because they use sustainable practices (palm oil typically does a lot of eco damage), it’s not hydrogenated, and because it works really well in everything I’ve tried it in. Some other shortenings are hit-or-miss for me with baking, but I’m sure a regular Crisco would do the trick as well. Hope you enjoy this crispy version. Great to hear from you and thanks for your comment!

  9. Katy says

    How do you feel about substituting Agave for yacon?

    So good to find another sugar-free vegan baker!

  10. Beth says

    Hi Katy — Not sure they would turn out the same with the agave. I’ve tried it in other cookies and if I remember correctly it sort of changes the texture and even the taste a little bit. It’s worth a try — or maybe a mix of agave plus molasses, if you can handle the latter — but they probably won’t turn out the same. Could be good in their own right, though, no? Thanks for your comment!

  11. Ryan says

    Hi, I love your recipes, they’re really a great base for recipes of my own. Unfortunately I have multiple intolerance’s so I need to make adjustments to yours such as this one, I used golden syrup, pecans, no lime and animal fat shortening. No problem with the syrup or pecans but I was wondering if it’s possible to sub the shortening for oil, I really don’t like the taste that animal shortening gives.


  12. Ryan says

    To update my above post, it works fine with oil, but it produces softer, chewey cookies (which i love!). It also works with cinnamon, though I only used 1 tbsp of it. Beautiful recipe, I think using the nuts is a brilliant idea. Thanks!

  13. Beth says

    Ryan — That’s so funny, I was just going to say that the one time I replaced the shortening with coconut oil, these were softer and chewier! I’m so glad they worked for you. Thanks for the comment! : )

  14. Dana says

    I love these cookies.
    They are the base for all my cookies now!
    Im on the anticandida diet, which explains my odd sub ingredient choices. Im also a student on a budget and a mom to a four year old. I tried this recipe and loved it and so did he, both before any subbing and after.

    I tried it subbing these things:

    Scant 1/2 c molasses mixed with some lime juice or coconut milk to thin works equally well to yacon.

    When I had no yacon I subbed 3/4 tsp powdered stevia + 1 tsp cinnamon for sweetness, and kept it moist with 1/8 c lime juice, 1/8 c ginger juice, 3Tb coconut creme, 2tsp vanilla extract.

    Many times with no organic shortening, used pure (firm at room temp) coconut oil.

    Also found you can play around with the almond to corn ratio a little with no problems.
    Thanks for the recipe!!! Merry Christmas!!


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