Cranberry Ginger Gems Recipe

Cranberry Ginger Gems Recipe

Prep Time


Cook Time

10 minutes



Recipe courtesy of FoodBat.

This recipe is part of The Food Channel’s Virtual Cookie Exchange.

Cranberry Ginger Gems Recipe. These Cranberry Gingerbread Gems are a Baking Day favorite of mine, and one which I always associate with this time of year. In the past few years I’ve adapted the cookie to be smaller, crisp, and even more addictive – I usually put ten or so in a small cellophane bag with a ribbon to give to co-workers.

These cookies have a grown-up twist, maximizing spice and using blackstrap molasses, which comes from the third boiling of cane sugar and is a darker, bitter cousin to the usual. I roll my Gems in Ludy’s Ginger Brew Salabrat , which can be found in Asian markets in the tea section.

If you can’t find Ginger Brew, white sugar mixed with a bit of ground ginger will work.


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (regular works fine too, but the bitterness helps balance the sweet)
  • 1 egg
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • Ginger brew mixed with sugar (or white sugar mixed with 1/4tsp ground ginger)


  • 1 FYI, I use a stand mixer for this, and if you have one I recommend it. Cream together butter and sugar. (Basically blend them together until the mixture is light in color and fluffy.) Add the molasses and egg; blend well.
  • 2 Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl - flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. I use a fork to fluff up the flour but using a sifter works too. Add dry ingredients to the wet - I recommend doing this a bit at a time, and if you are using a stand mixer, pause between additions. The dough will get very stiff.
  • 3 Fold in cranberries and crystallized ginger bits. Cover, and refrigerate until very firm - I didn't use the dough until the next day, but a few hours at least should do it.
  • 4 Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and prep a shallow dish with ginger-sugar mixture.
  • 5 Now, you can shape these a few ways. If you want normal size cookies, simply shape into 1-inch balls and roll in the sugar. However, part of the charm of these cookies is how small, crispy and utterly addictive they are - and I would sure feel a lot more guilty eating regular size cookies. To make small cookies, take a scoop of dough and roll it in your hands into a snake. (Yes, it's going to look like a winner of the dog-turd lookalike contest. Get over it.) Roll the snake in sugar, then take a sharp knife and cut into pieces about a half inch thick. Press slightly to reshape into a circle if nessesary.
  • 6 I use a sil-pat on a baking sheet when I make these because it pretty much negates any pan cleanup, but parchment or a greased cookie sheet works well too. Place the mini-cookies about an inch apart.
  • 7 Bake for no more than 10 minutes at 350 degrees - I like to check around 6 minutes in. A cookie should feel set but not stiff - if it feels sturdy in the oven, they are probably overdone. Cool on a rack for a few minutes (if they last that long!)


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