Making gingerbread men is hard. Well… technically decorating them is the hard part. I am a
terrible not great cookie decorator. Maybe one day, but for now it’s probably one of my lowest baking skills.
And to be honest, when I decided to make gingerbread men I thought about the rich color and taste and the oh so cute cut outs! Of course I envisioned them with eyes, a mouth, buttons, decorations, etc. But it wasnt until I was starting to deocrate them that I remember – wait… I’m so bad at this.
Oops:) There were some tradgedies.
Don’t make these just because you’re looking for a Christmas goodie. There are a lot of other options for that:) Make these if you are so excited to make gingerbread men and have a few hours on your plate! I’ve got to be honest, even though some look like a 3rd grader decorated them, I’m really proud how they turned out. And the cookie is so soft and chewy and spicy and good! Yum!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 12 tablespoons (1 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
- ¾ cup molasses (not black strap)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda at low speed until just combined.
- In a stand mixer, add butter pieces while it is still on low. (Otherwise, turn mixer off and add in a few cubes of butter at a time.) Beat at medium low speed until the mixture looks sandy – 1-3 minutes.
- Pour molasses and milk into a liquid measuring cup. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly stream in molasses/ milk mixture. Once mixed in, increase speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined. Mixture will start to get very thick and difficult to mix. Make sure to stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Separate dough into two balls. Place one ball in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to about 1/4 of an inch thick. Do this with the other ball as well. Freeze dough for about 30 minutes to 2 hours. (I would NOT recommend refrigerating… I had mine in there for 2 hours and it still stuck to my parchment paper really bad and didn’t come off easily until I froze it.) his will harden it up so it won’t stick to your parchment paper like mine did at first:/
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Take out one dough sheet and bring it to your work surface (counter, table, whatever.) Slowly peel off one sheet of parchment paper. You can either begin to cut out your shapes (with a sheet of parchment on the bottom) OR flip the dough over and peel that bottom parchment sheet off. I did the first option and it was great so long as the dough was nice and chilled.
- Cut dough in whatever gingerbread shapes you want! Place them on parchment lined cookie sheet. They don’t spread much, so you can place them fairly close. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Mine was 8 exactly. Pull them out of the oven when they look a little puffy and if you touch one, it will barely leave a fingerprint. Pull out of the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet at least 8 more minutes before you transfer to a wire cooling rack.
- Do this with the rest of the dough:)
- Once cookies are cool, decorate with icing if you like. Feel free to store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week!
Adapted from Baking Bites
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 T. vanilla
- 1-2 T. milk
- In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix briefly.
- Add in 1 T. of milk and mix for a minute or so. Add another half tablespoon until you get the texture you want. You want it pourable, but still a little thick. (If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add more milk.)
- Put the icing in a decorating bag or decorating tool with a VERY SMALL TIP. This is the key for making good gingerbread faces. (I found this out the hard way!) I did not have a very small tip, so that’s why the outline worked best for me.
- When the cookies are completely cool, work slowly with a steady hand, decorating them however your heart desires!
- Let icing cool completely and harden before storing the cookies.