Slightly soft in the center, crisp edges and perfectly spiced with your classic holiday flavors. This is my favorite recipe for gingerbread men that hold their shape!
FRIYAY. You’ve made it. Give yourself a pat on the back. Have any fun plans for this weekend? We’re heading up to the mountains with some friends and the dogs.
Welcome to recipe #3 of the first annual Christmas Cookie Countdown! As Christmas comes near, there’s one type of cooke that comes to mind. They are spiced just right. Their smiles light up the room. There’s just something about them. Gingerbread men. You light up Christmas.
Gingerbread men can be tricky. The recipes that are out there roughly include the same ingredients: flour, sugar, molasses, butter, eggs and spices.The key is to find the right combination of ingredients. You will see that there is a lot more flour so the cookies can keep their shape. Perfecting this recipe took quite some time, but it’s finally time to unveil it to you.
To this recipe, I increased the amount of spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice.) Gingerbread to me means flavor. Nobody thinks of gingerbread cookies with no flavor. Who wants a bland, boring cookie? Not me.
A FEW IMPORTANT TIPS↓↓
Room temperature butter. I probably sound like a broken record, but do not try to speed up the process by putting the butter in the microwave. Just put the butter out on a plate 2 hours before you want to bake.
Just like these cookies, the dough will be sticky. Because of this, the dough must be chilled. While most of my cookie recipes require this step, for this specific recipe, you must chill the dough. There is no way around it. If you don’t allow it to chill for at least 3 hours, the cookies won’t hold their shape. Nobody wants flat, shapeless cookies.
The easiest way to chill the dough: split the dough. Scoop half the dough onto plastic wrap, then the other half of dough on another piece and wrap tightly. The dough will chill a lot quicker this way and it’s much more easy to handle. See below↓
IT’S TIME TO ROLL
Once the cookie dough is chilled, roll the dough out until about 1/4-inch thickness. Don’t be afraid to get dirty. If your dough gets sticky, add a little flour. Don’t worry if the dough has some flour excess on it, it will bake off.
Once the dough is rolled out, using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Line them on a baking sheet 1 – 1.5 inches apart. The cookies don’t spread much, but you want them to have room.
Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes. The cookies you see here took exactly 10 minutes. I prefer my gingerbread men on the crunchier side, but if you prefer them slightly soft, bake for 8-9 minutes until the edges are set.
THE BEST PART
It’s time to decorate. Do what you want, they are your cookies! I use a very simple icing recipe (below) that is my favorite go-to. I add some sprinkles as buttons (so cute!)
Make these with family, or yourself! Either way, you will end up with some pretty amazing cookies that your family and friends will love!
HAPPY HAPPY BAKING… AND DECORATING!
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Classic Gingerbread Men Recipe
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons molasses
- 3 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
SIMPLE ROYAL ICING
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1-2 Tablespoon water
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
In a stand or hand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the buttered and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and molasses and beat until combined. Turning the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in half cup increments. Beat together until just combined.
Scoop half the cookie dough out and onto plastic wrap (likewise for the remaining half.) Press down to turn them into discs. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Do not skip this step.
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (preferred.) Set aside.
Remove the chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator. Flour a work surface, along with your hands and rolling pin. If needed, continually flour the work surface if the dough becomes sticky. Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place the shapes 1 - 1.5 inches apart on the baking sheets. Re-roll the dough until all dough is gone. Repeat.
Baking for 9-10 minutes. The cookies will be done when the edges are slightly crisp. These cookies took exactly 10 minutes. If you prefer a softer interior, bake for 8-9 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling. Once the cookies are completely cooled, begin decorating.
SIMPLE ROYAL ICING
In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, heavy cream and water. It will be on the thicker side. But, if it's too thick then add 1/2 Tablespoon more water. Separate into multiple bowls if using food coloring.
Allow the icing to sit on the cookies for 4 hours to harden, or you can quicken the process and sit them in the refrigerator for 1 hour. If you are eating them immediately, you can skip this step.
See more cookies in the Christmas Cookie Countdown!
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