It’s holiday season and the baking is well on the way! There is nothing I like better than a soft and chewy gingerbread cookie! Full of spice. These cookies are my go to each year, I usually put in double the spice but I’ll keep it tame in order to appeal to the masses. Cookie cutters and the super simple icing recipe also makes it easy to decorate them as snowflakes, Christmas trees, Santa, gingerbread men, stars and more! OR you can just buy the premade royal icing from the grocery store.
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (includes time for rolling and cutting cookie dough and decorating cookies)
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes per tray
Total Time:about 2.5 hours (does not include time for dough to chill before baking or for cookies to cool before decorating)
Makes: about 4 dozen cookies
For the gingerbread cookies:
- 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon All-Spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature cut into tablespoon pieces
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup molasses
For the icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the gingerbread cookies. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer or a food processor, cream (beat) the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Add in the egg and molasses and beat on medium speed until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture from step 1 and mix on low speed until combined. The dough will be thick!
- Divide the dough into thirds, form each third into a ball, flatten, and wrap with plastic. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before you’re ready to begin rolling out the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line baking sheets with baking paper or silicone baking mats. Place one of the thirds of dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 3mm thick. Cut the dough using snowflake cookie cutters (or any shape cookie cutters you like) and transfer the cookie cut outs onto a baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. They should become slightly crisp but not be darker in color. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While you are waiting for them to cool make the icing.
- Make the icing. Whisk the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until the mixture is smooth. When poured from a spoon the the mixture should slowly drip, but not run. If the mixture is too runny, add a little bit more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more milk.
- Decorate the cookies. When your cookies are completely cool, spoon the icing into a piping bag or a plastic squeeze bottle and pipe the icing onto the cookies. (You can also use a thick plastic bag with one corner of the bag cut off in a pinch.) Remember to make it easier on yourself you can purchase royal icing from the grocery store that does the same thing. You can even get packets that include piping bags and tips.
Storage: Store gingerbread snowflake cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Make sure you are careful when stacking the decorated cookies; the icing is firm but not rock-solid and may become slightly squashed when cookies are stacked, especially in the Brisbane Heat!
Freezing: Yes, you are able to make these cookies in advance and freeze them for up to 3 months. Don’t freeze them decorated though! Bring then out and give them to the kids as a christmas day activity to complete. The cookies should be completely cooled and packed in an airtight container before freezing. Another alternative is making the dough wrapping it in plastic, place it in an airtight container and freeze it before rolling it out, cutting and baking the cookies. Let the dough thaw overnight if you are going to take this option.
Which Molasses should I choose?
- Light molasses (often called “mild”) has the most mild flavor, lightest color, however it’s the sweetest, which makes it great for baking and alternative to caster sugars.
- Dark molasses (often called “robust” or “full flavor”) has a deeper flavor, darker color, and thicker texture than light molasses, and it is less sweet. This is the molasses that is recommended for baking gingerbread cookies, its perfect for bringing out the flavours and not overpowering them with sweetness.
- Blackstrap molasses is the darkest in color and thickest of the three types. It has a bitter flavour and therefore not recommended for baking unless specifically specified in recipes to do so.
Want some decorating tips – check out this video!
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