GINGERBREAD MEN

 

  • Cooking Time:
  • Servings: 40
  • Preparation Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp (freshly) ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup coffee or water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in molasses, water and vanilla, then gradually add in flour mixture until a smooth dough forms. Divide dough into two or three pieces (dough will be quite soft), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • For softer cookies:
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just under 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters of your choice (2-3″ gingerbread men are ideal!) to cut dough. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on size of cookie cutter. Cookies should be slightly firm to the touch at the edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For crispier cookies:
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just under 1/8 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters of your choice (2-3″ gingerbread men are ideal!) to cut dough. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on size of cookie cutter. Cookies should be slightly firm to the touch at the edges and will be lightly browned. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When cool, decorate with lemon icing (recipe below).
  • Makes about 30-40 gingerbread men, depending on size of cookie cutters used and whether you make them thick or thin.
  • Recipe and notes from blog, Baking Bites.

Notes

This is one of my favorite gingerbread cookie recipes. The dough comes together quickly and is very easy to work with. It is a rolled cookie dough that needs to be refrigerated before you can take cookie cutters to it, so the waiting is the worst part. The dough can be rolled and rerolled several times without toughening up the resulting cookies and, while the cookies do puff up some during baking, they hold their shape pretty well.

On top of all of that, the cookies taste great. I think I hit upon my favorite gingerbread spicing combination here, with a generous amount of ginger accented with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. I almost always throw in a pinch of black pepper for some extra bite. The cookies can be baked up to get two different results. If you roll them out to be on the thicker side (just under 1/4 inch thick), they will be soft and chewy, and will stay that way even if they’re stored for several days. If you roll them out a bit thinner (1/8 inch or less) the cookies will be crisp, but not hard. Both crispy and chewy cookies should be frosted after they have cooled. I like a lemon-flavored icing for decorating, as it complements the spiciness of the gingerbread and brightens up the cookie as a whole. You can also top the cookies off with sprinkles or chopped, candied ginger if you prefer not to ice them.

gingerbread man with santa hat

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