Ginger cookies, gingerbread, ginger snaps — same name (sort of), vastly different holiday cookies. Mozza's gingerbread Pain d'Épices cookies are more like cute little ginger spice cakes in piglet form, the snickerdoodles from Akasha are so heavily spiced with ginger you might even forget they're vegan, and the gingersnap recipe from Fig restaurant — after the jump — is a chewy-crispy molasses cookie spiked with ginger. Do we see a holiday cookie gift tin theme developing?

To really impress, you could pull out one of those gingerbread house kits and whip up a 3-story dream house for each of your friends like the impressive mini-Santa Monica cityscape (photos also after the jump) that Fig chef Ray Garcia and his kitchen staff created for the Fairmont Hotel's Lobby. Or just tie a gnarled knob of ginger on top of your gift tin and call it a ginger cookie objet trouvé assemblage. Easy, inexpensive and much more useful than stale gumdrops come dinnertime.

This makes a lot of cookies for gift-giving. Stash the extra cookies in the freezer for later — you'll want them around January 10th to break those New Year's resolutions. But if you must, cut the recipe in half.

Gingersnap molasses cookies

Adapted from Fig restaurant. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

2 cups sugar, plus 1/2 cup for sprinkling

1 1/3 cups butter, room temperature

2 eggs

½ cup molasses

4 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cloves

1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and 2 cups of sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, mixing after each addition. Add the molasses and mix well.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Mix well. Shape the dough into two logs approximately 2-inches thick wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the log into 1/2-inch thick rounds and place 2-inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Sprinkle the cookies with the remaining sugar. Bake until the cookies begin to brown along the edges and crack on top, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely.

On Second Thought, I'll Just Bake Some Cookies...; Credit: Jenn Garbee

On Second Thought, I'll Just Bake Some Cookies…; Credit: Jenn Garbee

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