I love cookies. In Canada, as opposed to buying tins of biscuits at Christmas time, homes all over the country engage in extreme Christmas cookie-making. I'm talking shortbread, gingerbread, sugar cut-out cookies, ice-box cookies, piped cookies, linzer cookies - you name it, we make them.

We keep them in the freezer and take a few out whenever there are visitors. Kids generally sneak a few straight from the freezer when no one's looking. It is a part of our heritage, really.

This is one Canadian tradition I keep up, even though it's been years since I've had a Christmas in Canada.

My kids, at first, preferred the tinned biscuits. But eventually, they started looking forward to my annual cookie-baking marathon; helping cut out shaped cookies and roll these cute little ginger crinkles into balls before rolling them in sugar to bake.

Each year, my kids invite a few of their friends over to decorate sugar cookies with royal icing. It's a messy disaster every year, but it's our way of sharing our Canadian traditions with friends. And that's what the holidays are all about.

Here is my favourite ginger crinkle recipe - these cookies are so delicious and so easy to make. Santa will be very pleased to see them laid out for his evening snack!

Happy Christmas to you all!

Janine's Ginger Crinkles

These ginger crinkle cookies are a crowd-pleaser. \ Philip Doyle

Makes two dozen small cookies or one dozen larger cookies


170g butter, softened

125g caster sugar

125g light brown sugar

1 large egg

60g black treacle

1 tsp vanilla

270g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice

125g granulated sugar, for rolling (set aside in a bowl)


  • 1 Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
  • 2 In a large bowl, add the softened butter, caster and brown sugar. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy for three to five minutes.
  • 3 Add the vanilla and egg and beat again until well incorporated.
  • 4 Using a sieve, sift the flour, spices, baking soda and salt into the butter mixture. At this point, I use my hands to mix (to avoid overmixing) or a wooden spoon, as the mixture will start off looking dry and eventually become a nice, pliable dough.
  • 5 Roll the dough into small (or larger, if you want a bigger cookie) balls. Roll the balls into the sugar and place on the lined baking sheets, leaving enough room between each for spreading.
  • 6 Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. When done, the tops will be cracked and the cookies will have spread nicely.
  • 7 Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to a week (these cookies can also be frozen for up to four weeks).
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