Since then Alice Waters did share a gingersnap recipe in her latest book, but it differs from this recipe, so we're sticking to this one. (You can see Waters' recipe over at David Lebovitz's blog.)
Since her blog is defunct, we'll share the recipe here with you. It's a wonderful recipe for hoarding at home, since you make the dough then freeze it in a block. You have to slice the dough frozen, so it's perfect for chipping off a few cookies every evening. It's also great for gifting; what's better than a big block of frozen cookie dough? Especially with a pedigree like this one.
Chez Panisse Gingersnaps
Adapted from Feeding Dexygus Seconds. Makes at least 3 dozen, depending on thickness.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Cream butter and sugar until very soft and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well-incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture. On low speed, mix until it all just comes together.
Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that some hangs over the outsides. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Pack it tightly, and try to make the top as level as possible. Cover the dough with the plastic overhangs. Freeze until very firm, preferably overnight. Unwrap and remove dough from the pan. Slice brick into very, very thin slices, no more than 1/8". Place on a parchment-lined sheetpan and bake at 350 degrees until the edges turn dark brown, about 12 minutes.
These are lovely when just slightly burned on the edges.
Related: Cool Weather Recipe: Gingersnaps
(Image: Faith Durand)