"It was empty save for an old gentleman who picked his teeth with great facial contortions and another gentleman who soaked his buttered rolls in his coffee, to Henry's fascinated pleasure, and then disposed of them in the little interval between his nose and chin. Henry did not wish to leave, but his father wanted his daily walk on the beach and thus he had to abandon his delight in observing the eating habits of the French."
—The Master, Colm Toibin
Makes 24; adapted from allrecipes
2/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar + more for dipping, later
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350° F. Whisk together the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir in the molasses.
Mix the flour, baking soda, and spices together in a separate bowl, then add to the wet ingredients. Combine into a uniform dough. Pour about 1/3 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt into a shallow bowl or plate. Shape the dough into approximately two dozen tablespoon-size balls, and roll each into the sugar/salt mixture. Place the balls a few inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. No need to flatten the balls -- they should flatten into discs while baking.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops crack. Remove them from the cookie sheet and cool on a plate or rack. The cookies will appear deceivingly soft when they first come out of the oven, but in mere minutes they will harden into "snaps" that are perfect for dipping.