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gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread Man Cookies

A delicious gingerbread man cookie recipe: crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, these cookies are full of flavor and perfect for decorating!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
YIELD 28 4-inch cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 1/8 cups (438g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup (145g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Royal icing for decorating, optional

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-low speed for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and molasses and continue mixing until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla extract just until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour-spice mixture and beat just until combined. Do not overmix or the cookies will be tough.
  3. Form dough into a ball, then flatten slightly to form a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, until firm enough to roll. If you don’t want to use the dough right away, you can refrigerate it or for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to a month, then thaw it overnight in the fridge.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a lightly floured surface (or between 2 pieces of parchment paper), roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out shapes (I used a 4-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter) using a cookie cutter and place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

  6. If at any point the dough becomes too warm, place it back into the fridge for a few minutes. Gently re-roll the remaining scraps and repeat. I recommend placing the sheets with cookies in the freezer or fridge for at least 15 minutes before baking, until firm, so that they will be less prone to spreading.

  7. Bake cookies for 9-10 minutes, but if cookie cutters are smaller than 3-4 inches, bake for about 8 minutes (or if larger, baker for 1-2 more minutes). Allow cookies to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

  8. Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave on the counter, still covered, or overnight in the fridge.