Grandma Jean’s Famous Gingersnaps take first prize in Holiday Cookie Contest

EAST DUBUQUE – The Chicago Tribune held its 29th annual Holiday Cookie Contest and a local woman took first prize this year with a recipe she’s been using for more than 50 years.

Jean Reisen of East Dubuque was surprised when she heard that her granddaughter, Joy Tranel, had entered her ginger snap recipe into the competition. Against a field of 75 entries from around the state of Illinois, Grandma Jean’s famous ginger snaps took the cake.

The most shocking part of her victory? She claims this isn’t even her best creation.

“I never dreamt that they would win an award because there’s nothing special about them, seriously, they’re just ginger cookies.”

Grandma Jean says that the main ingredient in her cookies is love, and with 14 children, 48 grandchildren, and 37 great grandchildren, she hopes that this family tradition can continue on long into the future

Grandma Jean’s gingersnaps

Prep: 30 minutes

Bake: 10 minutes

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1/2 cup molasses

2 cups sugar, plus more for rolling cookies

4 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

12 ounces white chocolate chips or white almond bark

1 Heat oven to 350 degrees. With a wooden spoon or your hands, mix together all of the ingredients, except the white chocolate/almond bark (no need to separate the wet from the dry). Roll into small balls (about 1 1/2 tablespoons in size).Roll ball in more sugar.

2 Place balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, and space out to give them room to expand. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

3 Melt white chocolate/almond bark in the microwave in 30-second intervals, until melted, or in a double boiler over simmering water. Dip half of each cookie into the melted white chocolate or white almond bark. Place on wax paper or parchment paper to cool and harden

 

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