I think it was Texas Rose who said she loved Gingersnaps. Me too -- anything gingery. I love the aroma it fills the house with when they're baking. When they're no longer very snappy you can crumble them over ice cream, or freeze them and use them for a cheesecake crust. Multi-purpose snaps.
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 small eggs or 1 1/2 large eggs
1/3 cup molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Cream butter until soft. Add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well-incorporated. Sift the dry ingredients, and add to the mixture. On low speed, mix until it all just comes together. Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that some hangs over the outsides. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Pack it tightly, and try to make the top as level as possible. Cover the dough with the plastic overhangs. Freeze until very firm, preferably overnight. Unwrap and remove dough from the pan. Slice brick into thin slices, no more than 1/8". Place on a parchment-lined sheetpan and bake at 350 degrees until the edges turn dark brown, about 12 minutes.
-The dough gets soft quickly, so work fast.
-Because the cookies are so thin, there's a fine line between underbaked and burned. Keep an eye on them. And actually I think they taste best when they're very slightly burned on the edges.
Regarding the smoothing of the dough in the loaf pan: Once the dough is covered with plastic wrap, take another loaf pan, of the same size, and use it to press the dough flat. You'll have to move it around a bit to really get into the corners and sides, but it's really easy.