These chewy, plate-size molasses cookies are teeming with fresh ginger

Brad Ray's deeply spiced, fresh ginger and molasses cookies.
(Portrait by Christina House / Los Angeles Times; cookie photo by Silvia Razgova / For The Times; food and prop styling by Leah Choi)

We asked several L.A.-area pastry chefs and cooks to contribute their favorite holiday cookies. Each is a simple, home-style cookie that reflects each contributor’s memories of holidays past.

Brad Ray

Former executive ice cream chef at Antico

I ate gingersnaps growing up, especially when seeing my grandmother on Christmas. But more than that, these cookies transport me back to NYC in 2012, during the opening of the NoMad. It’s a recipe passed down to me by my mentor Mark Welker that we made during the holidays.


I like that it’s aggressive on ginger. Most gingerbread recipes don’t typically call for fresh, but this one is packed with it. And when you see how much molasses goes into it, you think it will be too much, but it’s very subtle. The dough gets an overnight freeze to get rid of the chemical taste from the amount of baking soda that you need to counteract the molasses.

Every time I bake them now I remember being at NoMad during the holiday season. I was so far away from my family, but I was sharing these cookies with my new family.
— As told to Ben Mims

Giant Ginger Molasses Cookies

Time 1 hour, plus overnight chilling
Yields Makes 16 large cookies