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In the ’50s, Pillsbury’s Best quadruple-X (XXXX) Flour cookie pamphlets were graced by four “Merry Miller” cartoon characters: Freshy, Smoothy, Whitey and Choosy were bakers all bearing a big “X” across their aproned chests. Whitey peers out from the page of one of the pamphlets bearing this fantastically-flavored and easy-to-make Pillsbury gingersnap cookie recipe. Whitey looks like he likes the snaps as much as I do.

Makes 4 1/2 dozen


  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, to coat cookies


  1. In a large bowl, sift flour and spices together. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, cream butter and 3/4 cups sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add dry ingredients. Chill dough for 1/2 hour.
  4. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Drop each in small bowl containing 1/2 cup of sugar. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, sugar side up.
  5. Bake at 375 for 9 to 12 minutes.
  6. Cool on a rack.

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