A good gingerbread cookie recipe is a must at Christmas. There are a lot of different Christmas desserts, but there aren't a lot of them that say "Christmas" like delicious gingerbread people!
Sure, you can buy gingerbread cookies at the store, but trust me, nothing beats homemade. This gingerbread cookie recipe will give you yummier cookies than anything you could ever buy!
The dough itself is easy to make. The only part that takes a while is cutting out the gingerbread men, and then decorating them — but that's all part of the fun.
These cookies are always a big hit with kids. They're not too sweet, but a bit of royal icing adds just the right amount of sweetness. And they're a bit lighter than some other Christmas desserts, so they're great with a cup of tea if you're feeling a bit too full for some of the richer stuff.
Here it is!
In a double boiler over medium heat, mix the molasses, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir occasionally, and heat until the mixture is smooth and the sugars are all dissolved.
Remove the molasses mixture from the heat, and stir in the baking soda. Let it cool.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until it's soft and creamy. Add the molasses mixture and stir until it's well blended.
Add the egg and stir until it's well blended.
Add the flour one cup at a time, stirring until the mixture is just smooth each time. Don't over-mix!
Shape the dough into a thick disk and wrap it in plastic wrap or wax paper. Refrigerate it for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out the cookies using cookie cutters.
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven on an ungreased baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack.
Let the cookies cool completely, and then decorate them!
If you don't have a double boiler, you can use an aluminum bowl over a pot of boiling water for this gingerbread cookie recipe. You can also just use a regular pot on a burner.
Sugar and molasses burn really easily, so set it on the lowest possible heat setting, stir it very frequently, and watch it like a hawk!
For this gingerbread man recipe, it's important to add the flour just one cup at a time, because it's easier to blend in that way. So you end up stirring the flour less, which gives you a more tender cookie.
The dough needs to refrigerate so that it's easier to roll. It'll get less soft as it cools down.
If you leave it in the fridge too long and it's too hard to roll out, don't worry. Just let it warm up for 10 or 15 minutes and you should be good to go.
The thicker you make the cookies, the longer they'll have to bake, but it'll also be easier to get a soft cookie. If you prefer crispy gingerbread cookies, just roll the dough flatter.
You can re-roll the scraps left over after cutting the cookies. But the more you re-roll the dough, the tougher the cookies get. So be sure to cut out all the cookies you can, then gather up all the scraps and re-roll them together.