It’s just not Christmas at our house until we’ve made these soft gingerbread cookies.
Gingerbread cookies and houses are Christmas classics. Every year at our house we make my special recipe for soft gingerbread cookies. I say special because it was a complete accident when I made them the first time. I was in high school at the time and was making some to take to my friends for Christmas. I totally doubled the butter by accident. I couldn’t figure out why my dough wasn’t holding together or why it was so greasy. I added extra flour and kind of slopped them onto the pan. They ended up baking okay. And honestly, they were the best cookies I had ever eaten.
Fast forward to today and we’ve refined the recipe and turned it into a tradition.
The first day after we brought LJ home from the hospital, B and I made these. She frosted them with RB while I nursed LJ and we all listened to Christmas songs on the radio. It was one of the most perfect moments of my life.
I think next year we’re going to try and make gingerbread houses. If you make houses, don’t use this recipe. For gingerbread houses you need a recipe that contains no leavener and uses shortening. That will give you solid walls that hold their shape and their snap.
My mother-in-law gave me copper measuring cups for Christmas and I’m smitten with them.
Here’s What You Need:
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Here’s What You Do:
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Using a stand mixer, or hand-held beaters, in a large bowl cream together butter and sugar on high until fluffy. Slowly beat in egg, vanilla, and molasses until all combined. Do this slowly or your mixture will separate. Make sure to scrape down the sides.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on medium speed until a soft dough forms.
- Form into two even balls, cover, and store in the refrigerator. Allow dough to rest and chill for at least an hour.
- After chilling dough, remove from refrigerator and set oven to 375 F degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper and cooking spray. Set aside.
- Dust counter with flour and roll dough out to a 1/2″-1″ thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut shapes out of the dough and move them to your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in oven for 7-9 minutes. I cooked mine for 8.
- Upon removal from the oven, allow to rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Now you can decorate with whatever you like, or you can leave them plain the way I like them. Either way makes for a tasty and spicy holiday treat.