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Gingerbread cookies piled on a wooden server

Gingerbread Cookies

Soft, festive gingerbread cookies are a must for the Christmas cookie tray! They're soft and slightly chewy, with warm, spicy gingerbread flavor and an easy vanilla icing!
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed (may be substituted with light brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1/2 cup molasses

Vanilla icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 2-4 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup adds sheen and elasticity to the frosting, but may be omitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional decorations: hard cinnamon candies, mini chocolate chips or M&M's, or your favorite candies or sprinkles

Instructions 

For the Cookies:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and molasses, and beat until smooth.
    How to make gingerbread cookies collage 1
  • Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat just until combined.
  • Scrape half of the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a disk. Wrap it tightly and store in the refrigerator. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Chill for two hours or overnight.
    How to make gingerbread cookies collage 2
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thickness for softer, chewier cookies, or 1/8" thickness for thinner, crispier cookies. Place cookies 1" apart on prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake 6-8 minutes, or until edges become golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
    How to make gingerbread cookies collage 3

Prepare the icing:

  • Place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add the hot water, corn syrup and vanilla extract and stir well until smooth.
  • Spread or pipe the icing using a piping bag and a fine tip, and top immediately with the candies or sprinkles of your choice. Leave the cookies out at room temperature until set.
    Gingerbread cookies process collage 3

Notes

  • Pro tip: the butter will soften much faster if you cut into small cubes, and the egg will come to room temperature must faster when placed in a bowl of warm water.
  • Nutrition information does not include candies or sprinkles.
  • Dough may be made a few days in advance stored in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 15-30 minutes until soft enough to roll.
  • Break this recipe into 2-3 stages to make it more manageable.  I like to prepare the dough and chill it overnight, then bake the cookies the next day and decorate them the day they're baked or one day after.
  • If you wish to freeze it, wrap the plastic wrapped dough in foil also and store in the freezer for up to one month. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight and let stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out.
  • Store decorated gingerbread cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 116kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 52mg, Potassium: 87mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 86IU, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

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