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Gingerbread Cookies

Delicious, extremely soft gingerbread cookies with royal icing
2h 30m 3 dozen cookies gingerbread cookies royal icing holiday baking

Ingredients

Gingerbread Cookies

  • 1 Cup - Butter, softened at room temperature (preferably salted)
  • 1 Cup - Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • ½ Cup - Molasses (do NOT use blackstrap)
  • 3 Cups - All-Purpose Flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2½ Tsps - Ground Ginger
  • 1½ Tsps - Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • ½ Tsp - Baking Soda
  • ½ Tsp - Salt

Royal Icing

  • 2 cups - Powdered Sugar
  • 1½ Tbsps - Meringue Powder
  • 4-6 Tbsps - Water

Instructions

  1. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until creamed. Add the brown sugar and mix until well creamed together, about 1 minute. Add the molasses and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until a dough forms. Add 1-2 tsp of milk if your dough is a bit crumbly.
  2. Roll and Chill: Divide the dough into two halves, and roll each one out to 3/8" thickness between sheets of parchment paper. (Use a ruler to check this, or just eyeball halfway between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. This is the perfect thickness for these cookies – trust! Even 1/2" is perfect – but don’t go lower than 3/8")
  3. Place the rolled dough, still sandwiched in parchment paper, on a baking sheet and cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel. Chill for 1-2 hours in the fridge or shorter in the freezer, until completely chilled and firm.

Cut Out Cookies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Cut shapes out of the chilled dough and place cookies a couple of inches apart on your prepared baking sheet. If the cookies are no longer firm and cold to the touch from working with the dough, pop the pan back in the fridge or freezer for 5 to 15 minutes to re-chill so that the cookies hold their shape when baked (it’s fine to bake them from frozen).
  2. While the cookies are baking, combine your dough scraps, roll back out, and cut out more cookies. Repeat this until all remaining dough is gone! You will need to chill the dough for a bit again once you roll the scraps back out so that it’s firm enough to cut the shapes easily. (Roll it back out between the parchment each time to keep things easy.)

Bake

Bake cookies for 8-9 minutes. The cookies should appear just set, and will look a tad puffy. The centers may look a tad underdone. Don’t be tempted to over bake them! They will set up to the perfect soft baked cookies. Let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Tip: Bake a single test cookie first if you’re worried you’ll underbake them – you’ll see that 8 minutes yields the perfect cookie!

Decorate

Decorate by dipping the cooled cookies in this glaze (swap the maple syrup for milk, if desired), dusting them with powdered sugar, or piping them with royal icing.

Make Royal Icing

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, starting with 4 tablespoons of water, and mix on high speed with an electric mixer for about 1 and 1/2 minutes. When the icing is the right consistency, you should be able to drizzle some of it into the bowl, and watch it sit on the surface of the mixture for 5-10 seconds before melting back in. If it’s too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. If it’s too thin, beat it for another 30 seconds to a minute, or add a bit more powdered sugar, a little at a time, beating between each addition.
  2. Add the royal icing to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #1 or #2 tip and pipe desired designs. You can even use gel food coloring to tint the royal icing.