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Delicious Recipes For Gingerbread Cookies

Our Gingerbread Cookie Recipes help you begin or continue the tradition of baking and decorating gingerbread men at holiday time.

Of course, there's no reason to limit these gingerbread cookie recipes to gingerbread men.

Use whatever cookie cutter shapes you prefer!

Baking and decorating Gingerbread Men is a fun holiday cooking activity to enjoy with the kids.

And decorated gingerbread cookies make a thoughtful inexpensive homemade holiday gift.

They are just as delicious whether simply sprinkled with colored sugar or creatively decorated with cookie icing.

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

We've got two great gingerbread cookie recipes here for you to choose from - the first makes a big batch of old-fashioned gingerbread cookie dough and the second makes a smaller more modern batch.

Tips For Making Gingerbread Cookies

  • Chill the dough thoroughly when instructed.
  • Roll only a portion of the dough at a time and keep the rest in the refrigerator so it doesn't get soft.
  • Roll the dough between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper instead of on a floured surface to avoid sticking. Then carefully remove the top sheet of paper before cutting out your cookies.
  • Roll the dough to an even thickness so your cookies will cook at the same rate.
  • Roll the dough thicker for softer cookies and thinner for crisper ones.
  • Only place cookie dough on cool cookie sheets to prevent them from spreading and losing their shapes.
  • Dust your cookie cutters with flour between cuttings.
  • For best results bake your gingerbread cookies one sheet at a time in the center of your oven.
  • To simply decorate, sprinkle your sugar cookies with colored sugar before baking.
  • Plain gingerbread men cookies can be iced with your favorite cookie icing.

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

This old time gingerbread recipe, adapted from the original Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, makes a big batch of cookie dough for "fat, puffy cookies." It uses much less shortening than more modern recipes and no eggs. If you prefer not to use shortening in your recipes, substitute organic shortening like I do.

You may have baked gingerbread boys using this old-fashioned recipe when you were a kid.

  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dark molasses
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. In a large bowl mix the shortening, sugar, and molasses together thoroughly, either by hand or with a mixer. Then stir in the water.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices until well blended. (I like to use a wire whisk but a spoon will work too.)
  3. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well combined.
  4. Cover the bowl, and chill the dough for at least two hours (or overnight).
  5. When you are ready to bake the cookies, make sure one of your oven racks is in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  6. Line your cookie sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. Alternatively lightly grease cookie sheets with shortening or cooking spray.
  7. Scoop out about 1/4 of the dough onto a lightly floured surface and return the rest of your dough to the refrigerator until you are ready for it.
  8. Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thick, getting it as even as you can.
  9. Cut with gingerbread boy cookie cutter or your favorite shaped cutter.
  10. Place cookies at least 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  11. When you have cut as many cookies as you can, lightly press the cookie dough scraps together, re-roll the dough and cut out additional cookies.
  12. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until no indentation remains when you touch them lightly with your index finger.
  13. When done, remove pan from the oven and immediately transfer the cookies with a spatula to wire racks to cool completely.
  14. Ice completely cooled cookies with your favorite cookie icing and decorate as desired.

This recipe yields about 10 dozen 2 1/2-inch Gingerbread Cookies.

Simple Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe for gingerbread cookies is adapted from The Betty Crocker Baking Basics: Recipes and Tips to Bake with Confidence and makes about 5 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies. It uses butter instead of shortening, and less molasses than the Original Betty Crocker's Cooky Book version.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl beat the butter, sugar, molasses and water together thoroughly either by hand or with an electric mixer until well blended.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt until well blended. (I like to use a wire whisk but a spoon will work too.)
  3. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well combined.
  4. Cover the bowl, and chill the dough for at least two hours (or overnight).
  5. When you are ready to bake the cookies, make sure one of your oven racks is in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  6. Line your cookie sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. Alternatively lightly grease cookie sheets with shortening or cooking spray.
  7. Scoop out about 1/2 of the dough onto a lightly floured surface and return the rest of your dough to the refrigerator until you are ready for it.
  8. Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thick, getting it as even as you can.
  9. Cut with gingerbread boy cookie cutter or your favorite shaped cutter.
  10. Place cookies at least 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  11. When you have cut as many cookies as you can, lightly press the cookie dough scraps together, re-roll the dough and cut out additional cookies.
  12. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until no indentation remains when you lightly touch them with your index finger.
  13. When the cookies are done, remove pan from the oven and immediately transfer the cookies with a spatula to wire racks to cool completely.
  14. Ice completely cooled cookies with your favorite cookie icing and decorate as desired.

This recipe makes about 5 dozen 2 1/2-inch Gingerbread Cookies.

Gingerbread Cookie Icing Recipe

In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons water or milk until smooth and spreadable.

To Make Colored Icing

For tinted icing, stir in Liquid Food Coloring one drop at a time until you get the color you want. You will need to use Paste Food Coloring is you want real deep, vivid color.

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