Gingersnaps Are The Spicier Swap For A Graham Cracker Topping

Cookies are way more than just a sweet snack to pair with milk or coffee. Used properly, a cookie can transform into a crumb crust for a pie or cheesecake, a flavorful layer in an icebox cake and trifle, or a perfectly crunchy accent on top of an ice cream sundae. Normally, you see graham crackers or chocolate wafers in this cookie crumble role, but what if you were to switch the formula up a bit and reach for a spicier alternative? Enter the gingersnap cookie.

A firm cookie with plenty of warm aromatic spices, the gingersnap brings more to the table than just texture. Instead, it works like a sweet take on an everything bagel seasoning — the numerous spices packed in the cookie taste great on almost any baked good or pastry you sprinkle it on. Its versatility makes it a baker's secret weapon to up the flavorful ante. So what are some good ideas to put this elevated cookie crumble to use?   

Your new favorite dessert garnish

First, you'll need to make your crumble. This could be as simple as crushing the cookie with a rolling pin, or as complex as breaking up the cookie into pieces, coating it with butter, and toasting it in the oven (this will essentially help you make particularly firm cookie croutons). The choice is yours on how big or firm you want your cookie crumble to be.   

Next, try this gingersnap crumble on the usual suspects, like as the crumb decoration on a well-spiced cheesecake, maple tart, or gingerbread layer cake. Basically, any warm, fall flavor, from pumpkin to molasses, would be accentuated by some gingersnap bite. Gingersnaps can also add some complexity to chocolate desserts. Think bringing some subtle heat to a "hot chocolate" cake or even sprinkling it on top of a thick ganache-topped brownie. 

Gingersnaps also pair extremely well with bright fruit and citrus. A lemon meringue pie could use a bit of gingersnap dust to complement the acidic lemon curd and raspberry bars would welcome a bit of spiced cookie crumbs as well. You can even layer in a couple of fruity flavors like lemon and raspberry sorbet, to create an aromatic ice cream parfait topped with gingersnap pieces. Once you start adding this ingredient to your desserts, you'll find it has limitless potential.