Simple and Soft Gingerbread Cookies Recipe is a classic Christmas cookie made with molasses and warm spices. One of my most favorite Cookie recipes!
These Cookies are:
- Sweetened with brown sugar and molasses (no granulated sugar)
- They are so soft and chewy in the center with slightly crisp edges
- Super easy to bring together
- Baked with a careful blend of just the right amount of spices for a perfect flavor
- Highly customizable in terms of decorating and so festive
Ingredients you will need:
Here is a list of ingredients that you will require to bring Ginger men to life!
- Flour: As the base of our soft and chewy molasses cookies. Make sure to measure it correctly for best results.
- Baking soda: For slight lift and crispy edged cookies.
- Vanilla and salt: For flavor.
- Spices: We are using cinnamon, loads of ground ginger, all spices, nutmeg and cloves to flavor our Cookies today.
- Brown sugar and Molasses: To sweeten the cookies and keep them soft and chewy. Both light brown and dark brown sugars are fine here. I used light brown sugar this time. Reach for robust/dark molasses variety. I love Grandma's molasses. Avoid using blackstrap molasses.
- Butter: Always begin with room temperature and unsalted butter. That way you get to control the amount of salt in your cookies.
- Egg: For binding and structure.
How to make gingerbread cookies:
Let's quickly have a look in the recipe to know how these molasses cookies come together:
- STEP 1- Make the dough: Gingerbread cookie dough comes together just like other cookies dough. Begin by creaming butter and brown sugar. Add and beat in egg, molasses and vanilla next. Fold in dry ingredients along with spices, salt and baking soda. There you have your dough.
- STEP 2. Cover/wrap and Chill that dough!!! Since the dough is a bit sticky due to the addition of brown sugar and molasses, it's highly recommended that you chill it. After chilling, the dough will be very easy to handle and roll out.
To wrap it- form 2 discs out of the dough and cover them separately in a plastic wrap. Chill the dough for a minimum of 4 hours. I prefer to chill mine overnight. We are rolling the dough into two discs since it makes super easy for us to roll it out.
- STEP 3. Roll out and cut using gingerbread man cookie cutter: Lightly flour the surface before you begin to roll the dough out. If you find the dough to be very sticky, flour your hands and the rolling pin.
As you keep rolling the dough, you might notice the dough starts to get sticky again. Don't fret adding more flour to your work surface and on the dough while rolling it. The excess flour will bake off as cookies bake. Cut it out using the cookie cutter.
- STEP 4. Bake: Place the cut-out cookies on a lined baking tray leaving just a little gap between them. Around 1- 1 and ½ inches. then bake the cookies for about 10 minutes in a pre-heated oven.
Gingerbread cookies Decorating ideas:
After you've baked the Cookies, it is time to decorate them. Totally optional but it's such a fun task. So easy and brings Gingerbread Men to life!
We are making them smile, those cute bows and buttons (omg! using holly and berries sprinkles) and some icing sugar! For the icing sugar, you can use simple cookie icing or opt for a royal icing too. Both those recipes from my website are linked in the recipe card below.
To add to fun, you can even color your icing like red and green.
To decorate, fill icing into a pastry bag fitted with #3 round tip to pipe details on these cookies as desired. If making bows and buttons with sprinkles, paste those on wet icing.
Tips to make perfect cookies every single time:
- Always chill the dough before rolling. Chilling the dough is a crucial step here for the dough to become workable and then you are guaranteed a thick and chewy cookie.
- Generously flour your work surface. After re-rolling a few times you might notice that the dough is getting sticky. Pop it in the freezer for a few minutes (if it gets super sticky). Or you can continue to sprinkle more flour as needed to roll the dough out.
- Avoid over baking these cookies. It can be tempting to add a few more minutes to the baking time because of the dark color of these cookies. But bake them as directed. The cookies will continue to set as they come out of oven and they will harden more as they cool.
- Form Bows, ties and buttons while the icing is wet. Any decorations are needed to be sticked to the cookies while the icing is wet.
- Avoid stacking the cookies when icing is wet. Well, this one is a no-brainer! You don't want all those frills, eyes and smiles to lose their shape and get all squashed down.
Recipe's Frequently Asked Questions:
Dark colored cookies are tough to check for doneness. Take care not to end up over baking them. When done the cookies will appear puffy and will begin to brown slightly on the edges.
Ideally these cookies should be ¼ of an inch thick. And thinner than this and they will bake super hard.
Try steaming them in the microwave by wrapping them in a damp paper towel for 10-15 seconds.
Add a piece of slightly moistened bread slice in your cookie jar.
Always store Cookies in airtight containers to prevent them from drying out, hardening and going stale.
More Festive Holiday Desserts that you will love:
If you liked this recipe, give it a star review. Do tell me in the comments below, how did this turn out for you! And don’t forget to share your creations with me on Instagram at #greedyeatsblog Are we friends on Pinterest and Facebook yet?
Gingerbread Man Cookies
- ⅔ Cup Butter (Unsalted, room temp)
- ¾ Cup Brown Sugar (Packed, light or dark)
- ⅔ Cup Molasses Unsulphured
- 1 large Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 and ½ Cups All purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon All Spice Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves
- Royal Icing (optional)
- or Simple Sugar Cookie Icing (optional)
- In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for a minute. Add brown sugar and beat it in till light and fluffy, about a minute more.
- Add egg and vanilla. Beat it in until combined and creamy. Now add in molasses and mix them in too till well combined. Scrape the bottom of bowl as needed. Note: Butter may separate at this stage and that's ok! Dough will come together as you add the dry ingredients in.
- Sift all the dry ingredients- flour, baking soda, salt and spices(ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg) over wet and fold in to combine. Do not overmix, dough will be thick and sticky. Form two discs out of the dough, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and chill the dough for 4 hours minimum or up to 3 days.Do not skip chilling the dough as chilling is necessary to develop flavors in the dough and make it workable.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350℉ (177 ℃). Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats/parchment paper. Set them aside.
- Flour your work surface and disc. Now roll out the cookie dough disc until ¼ of an inch thick. Use your fingers to meld any cracks, cut into shapes.
- Place cut-out cookie 1 - 1 and ½ inches apart. Re-roll the dough scraps and cut out cookies until no dough remains.
- Bake for about 9-10 minutes. Cookies will appear slightly puffy at this stage but will shrink back slightly once they are out of oven. If your Gingerbread man cookie cutter is smaller than 4 inches, bake for 7-8 minutes.
- Once baked, allow the cookies to cool on tray for 4-5 minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool down further.
- Decorate cooled cookies with icing as desired. To apply icing on cookies- fill a pastry bag (fitted with #3 round tip) with icing and pipe designs on cookies.To make bows and buttons, top with holly and berries sprinkles while the icing is wet. These cookies can be stored at room temperature, covered tightly for up to a week.
- Both decorated or undecorated cookies can be frozen for 2 months.
- Thaw baked cookies on counter top for 5-6 hours before serving.
- If freezing cookie dough, form discs, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze them in freezer safe bags. Thaw discs overnight on counter top or in refrigerator and continue with rolling the dough out as mentioned in step 5.