It isn’t Christmas until someone starts baking Gingerbread Cookies. These are soft and perfectly spiced just the way they should be. The perfect addition to your holiday baking.
For the past few years I have also been making Gingerbread Cookies. Believe it or not, it is my youngest daughter’s favourite Christmas cookie and of course she couldn’t say no to a slice of my Mom’s Gingerbread Cake either!
The first time I made them, she kept telling me how delicious they were, I was in complete shock. I thought for sure they would have had a too strong taste for her, remember we are talking about “the give me all the Nutella girl”.
This year I decided to make them again mainly to update the photos and yes it was a bitter sweet baking day.
Neither of our girls are with us this year so making her favourite cookies was kind of sad, although i did put most of them in the freezer for her return. But not all of them, because she isn’t the only one who likes gingerbread.
How to make Gingerbread Cookies
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
- In the stand up mixer on medium speed beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Then add the molasses, egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Lower the speed and add the whisked flour mixture and mix well.
- On a lightly floured flat surface gently knead into a flat disk and refrigerate for 3 hours or even overnight.
- Cut the dough in half and roll into 1/4 inch thickness, cut out into desired shapes and place on un-greased cookie sheets.
- While the oven is heating chill the cookies in the fridge.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on the rack for about two minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Decorate, leave plain or even a dust with a little powdered sugar.
The dough is quite easy to work with and they bake up nice and soft on the inside, just the way Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies should be.
This Gingerbread Cookie Recipe makes quite a few cookies, probably close to 50 and of course depending on the size. I made both medium large and smaller cutouts.
How to decorate the cookies
I am not much of a decorator maybe that’s why I like Italian desserts so much, because all they really require is a dusting of powdered sugar!
But gingerbread cookies sometimes need a little extra. Although I did resort to the easy way out for a few.
I decorated the larger cookies with a simple Royal Icing. Most recipes call for meringue powder, but I have no luck in finding that here, so I went with pasteurized egg whites and it worked beautifully.
Although a simple powdered sugar icing would work too.
Different types of Molasses
There are three main types of molasses, light, dark and black strap. The sugar content of light and dark, is about 70 percent, and blackstrap molasses contains about 45 percent sugar, which makes it a little bitter.
And yes I used blackstrap. Which of course makes for a stronger Gingerbread flavour. If you prefer a milder type then go for the light or medium or even an unsulfured molasses if you prefer.
How to tell when the cookies are done
After about 8 minutes remove the cookie sheet from the oven and gently press the edge of the cookie, if it is firm, then the cookies are done.
How to store Gingerbread Cookies
Place the cookies in an air tight container between layers of parchment paper (especially if they are decorated). They must be kept in a cool dry place. Properly stored they will keep for up about two weeks.
They can also be frozen, stored in a freezer safe container or bags for up to six months.
More Christmas Cookies you may enjoy!
So if this is the year that you decide to make Gingerbread Cookies then I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy and Happy Baking!
- 3 cups + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (382 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 3/4 cup salted butter* (169 grams)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar lightly packed (150 grams)
- 1/2 cup molasses (170 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
*If you use unsalted butter then add 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups powdered / icing sugar (188-218 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large pasteurized egg white
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of the stand up mixer on medium speed beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Then add the molasses, egg and vanilla beat to combine well. Lower the speed and add the flour mixture, mix well.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and form into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least three hours or even overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, and cut the dough in half (one half refrigerate), and the other half roll into 1/4 inch thick, use whatever cookie cutter you desire. Place the cut out cookies on un-greased cookie sheets and refrigerate while the oven is pre heating at 350F (180C). Continue making the cookies with the remaining dough.
- Bake the cookies approximately 8 - 10 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are firm when gently touched. Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes then carefully move to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired, leave plain or dust will a little powdered / icing sugar. Enjoy!
- Sift the icing sugar (start with 1 1/2 cups) and cream of tartar into a medium bowl then add the egg white and vanilla, beat for about 7 minutes or until very smooth and thick. If it isn't thick enough then add more icing sugar. (I added a bit more to make it thicker).
Updated from December 4, 2015.