Gingerbread Cookies

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr (plus cooling time)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 24 cookies
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Ingredients

11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 whole eggs

1/4 cup molasses

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

3/4 cup pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

6 ounces royal icing/cookie icing

Gel food coloring: black, green, red

Mini candy-coated chocolates

Directions

Special equipment:
gingerbread man-shaped cookie cutter; 4 pastry bags or resealable plastic bags; 4 couplers; leaf tip #67; plain tip #4; 2 plain tip #3
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and brown sugar together in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until well combined. Scrape down the sides as necessary.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each to combine. Add the molasses and mix to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, cinnamon and cloves to combine.
  5. Turn the mixer off and add one-third of the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer to low and carefully mix to combine. Continue this process until all the dry ingredients are combined and a dough has formed.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl of the mixer onto a clean working surface that has been dusted with flour. Knead the dough to combine it into a smooth ball. If the dough seems warm or too soft to handle, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so.
  7. Using a rolling pin, roll the gingerbread cookie dough to a thickness of 1/4-to-1/2-inch. Using your gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place 1 1/2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll excess dough to repeat this process until you have used all the dough.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack
  9. While cooling, put 1 ounce of the royal icing into a small bowl and dye it black. Put it into a pastry bag with a coupler and a plain #3 tip. Put another 1 ounce of the royal icing into a small bowl and dye it green. Put it into a pastry bag with a coupler and a plain #3 tip. Put another 1 ounce of royal icing into a small bowl and dye it red. Put it into a pastry bag with a coupler and a plain #3 tip.
  10. After the cookies are cooled, you can turn them into gingerbread men or reindeer.
  11. For gingerbread men: Using the white icing, add a squiggle line at the edge of each arm and each leg. Using the green icing, pipe 2 triangles together at the neck to create a bowtie. Using the mini chocolate candies, add eyes and buttons. Create the gingerbread man's mouth with the white icing.
  12. For reindeer: Flip your gingerbread man-shaped cookie upside down so the feet are at the top. Using the white icing, pipe antlers into the "feet" sections of your gingerbread man. Underneath the antlers in the center, pipe eyes and eyebrows. In the "arms" section of the gingerbread man, outline the edges to create your reindeer ears.
  13. Take a red mini chocolate candy and attach it to the center of the body (underneath the eyes) for the nose. Using your black icing, pipe a mouth underneath the nose. Put a small leaf tip onto your green icing bag and pipe 2 small leaves between the antlers. Pipe 3 small red dots in the center of the leaves as holly berries.
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