Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gingerbread Men Cookies

The traditional cookies of the holidays are the Gingerbread Men. These delicious cookies have the perfect amount of spices, nice and soft on the inside and a little crisp on the outside, and when decorated they are just so darn cute.

Gingerbread men have been on my list every year to make. This recipe I found happens to be so easy to make. You will love to see these little guys on your Christmas table and they are great for your Christmas cookie baking swaps and make great gifts also.  The dough was easy to roll, and by cutting the shapes and freezing for a few minutes before placing onto your cookie sheet, your gingerbread men do not get to warm by your hands. 
A fine tipped squeeze bottle made piping on the royal icing so simple and they stored perfectly soft for 5-6 days in an airtight container. This is a recipe that should be put into your cookie cookbook for years to come. 


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


To make the dough:
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses and vanilla. With your mixer on low speed, gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
Gather dough with your hands into a ball and divide dough in half. Shape each half into a round disk and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate up to 4 days. Let dough come to room temperature before using.
To roll and bake:
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll each portion of dough 1/4-inch thick between two sheets of waxed paper. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter. Remove excess dough from around the cookies , and transfer wax or paarchment paper sheet to the freezer. Freeze for 10 minutes, then remove shapes to your lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. This makes transferring the cookies while keeping their shape much easier!
Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-9 minutes. Let cookies rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Once cookies are completely cool, decorate as desired.
To decorate with royal icing:
Make royal icing by combining 1 Tablespoon meringue powder with 2 cups powdered sugar and 3-5 Tablespoons water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat icing until smooth and matte, about 5 minutes. Add more water to thin, if necessary. Separate icing into batches and tint with food coloring. Using piping bags or squeeze bottles with fine tips, pipe icing onto cooled cookies.
Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

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