Gingerbread Cookies

5 from 2 votes

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The classic old-fashioned cut-out cookies for the holidays, crunchy and tender and full of warm spices.

Gingerbread Cookies on a red plate.

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

Have you ever bought gingerbread cookies? Or perhaps bought a premade gingerbread house? The gingerbread is often — disappointing, at best. Carboard-like at worst. The good news is that homemade gingerbread cookies are very simple to make, and provide a very nice family activity especially if you have young kids. And they are perfect for a Cookie Swap!

Gingerbread Cookies on a plate and a wire rack.

How to Roll and Cut Gingerbread Cookies

You can make traditional gingerbread men or gingerbread people, as I did, or pull out that bag of cookie cutters tucked deep into the pantry closet and have at it with all kinds of shapes: Christmas trees, dreidels, stars, hearts, what have you. You can see I also worked in a few gingerbread crabs….if someone can tell me how that cookie cutter got into my collection I would love to know.

Divide the dough into two even pieces and form each piece into a disk about 1-inch thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably 24. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Place ½ cup or so flour onto a small plate.

Woman sprinkling flour onto a marble countertop.

Roll each disk out on the floured surface until it is ¼-inch thick. 

Woman using a wooden rolling pin on gingerbread dough.

Dip the cookie cutter in flour before cutting each cookie.

Woman dipping a person-shaped cookie cutter into flour.

Cut out gingerbread men, or whatever shape you like, with cookie cutters.

Woman pushing a person-shaped cookie cutter into rolled out gingerbread dough.

Cut the cookies with as little extra space in between each shape as possible.

Woman cutting gingerbread dough with a snowflake-shaped cookie cutter.

Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet with at least 1-inch of space between each cookie.

Cut gingerbread dough on a lined baking sheet.

How Long to Bake Gingerbread Cookies

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes (smaller cookies might take a minute or two less, larger cookies might take a minute or two more). Smaller cut outs will take less time to bake than larger ones, so keep that in mind and adjust the making time accordingly. Since the dough is brown, it’s hard to see visually that they are “done” but you can tell when the edges look firm and the cookies are lightly puffed and set.

Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes so that you can remove them without messing up the shape (you can see a couple of my gingerbread men look a little wobbly). Use a metal spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack.

Four Gingerbread Cookies set on a red plate.

Gingerbread Cookies: The classic old-fashioned cut-out cookies for the holidays, crunchy and tender and full of warm spices.

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Decorating Gingerbread Cookies

I left my plain Jane, because….because I was lazy. But if you are not being lazy, here’s a good tutorial on how to decorate those cookies.  

Gingerbread Cookies shaped like people on a plate and a wire rack.

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5 from 2 votes

Gingerbread Cookies

The classic old-fashioned cut-out cookies for the holidays, crunchy and tender and full of warm spices.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 20 people
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Ingredients 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened
  • ¾ cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh or crystallized ginger (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the molasses and crystallized ginger, if using.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Divide the dough into two even pieces and form each piece into a disk about 1-inch thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably 24.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Lightly flour a clean surface. Roll each disk out on the floured surface until it is ¼-inch thick. Cut out gingerbread men, or whatever shape you like, with cookie cutters, cutting the cookies with as little extra space in between each spare as possible. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet with at least 1-inch of space between each cookie.
  • Bake for 9 to 10 minutes (smaller cookies might take a minute or two less, larger cookies might take a minute or two more) until lightly puffed and set. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Repeat with the other disk of dough. Decorate with frosting and sprinkles as desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 184mg, Potassium: 287mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 296IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 2mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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