"Ginger nuts" (Britain)
Gingersnaps are ginger- and molasses-flavored cookies with a crisp, brittle consistency. The name is said to originate in various ways: the name could be inspired by the sound the cookies make when broken, or the word “snap” could derive from the German or Middle Dutch word “snappen,” which means to seize quickly. These cookies are often crushed and used to make crusts for cheesecakes, pies, and other desserts.
Though store-bought gingersnaps are a convenient option if you’re crushing them for crusts, it’s easy to make your own from scratch. You can also substitute other crisp cookie crumbs in crumb crusts, such as graham crackers or vanilla wafers.
To crush or grind gingersnaps for a tart crust, break them into chunks and either pulse them in the food processor or put them in a zip-top plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Pass the crumbs through a medium-mesh strainer to sift out any larger chunks.
To keep store-bought gingersnaps fresh and crisp, keep them in an airtight container.