This classic gingerbread cookie recipe makes soft & chewy cookies full of delicious, festive flavor!
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Lights are twinkling. People are merry. Trees are trimmed and stocking are hung.
And then there are CHRISTMAS COOKIES!
What’s your favorite Christmas cookie?
When I was growing up, we always made butter cookies (so tasty and cute!) and molasses cookies (so chewy and delicious!). Most years we made peanut butter cookies, too. So in my mind, these are the classics. Oddly enough, I don’t remember ever making gingerbread cookies.
We did always make a gingerbread house, though. The house is constructed from rock hard (but technically edible) gingerbread so that it’s sturdy enough to last the whole month of December. This is probably why I’ve always assumed that gingerbread cookies are hard and crunchy. As a lover of soft, chewy cookies, I’ve never had much of an interest in gingerbread.
But this year I was in the mood to decorate some Christmas cookies, so I set off to bake a batch of gingerbread in the hopes that I could bake a cookie that was both soft and perfect for decorating.
Oh my gosh these gingerbread cookies! They are perfect! The flavor is incredible and full of holiday spice. The texture is soft and chewy (just the way I like my cookies!), but firm enough that they’re perfect for decorating. Plus the icing is super simple to make, and all you need to do is pipe some lines and dots to create these fancy snowflake cookies!
Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies and Icing
GINGERBREAD COOKIE INGREDIENTS:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 T ground ginger
1 T ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
GINGERBREAD COOKIE DIRECTIONS:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat on medium speed until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. The dough will be quite thick.
Divide the dough in 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 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place one of the thirds of dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 1/8-inch thick. Cut the dough using snowflake cookie cutters (or any cookie cutters you like) and transfer the cookie cut outs to a baking sheet.
Bake the cookies 8 to 10 minutes. They should become slightly crisp but not darker in color. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 T milk
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
Whisk the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until the mixture is smooth. The mixture should slowly drip, but not run, when poured from a spoon. If the mixture is too runny, add a little bit more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more milk.
When your cookies are completely cool and you’re ready to decorate them, 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.)
Gingerbread cookie recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.