Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies, packed with brown sugar, molasses and warming spices. These gingerbread cookies will become your favorite family Christmas tradition.
Is there anything that feels more like Christmas than a big plate of holiday cookies? There is just something about it that screams the Holiday season! And the grand daddy of holiday cookies is gingerbread!
The brown sugar and molasses cookie base is packed with cinnamon and ginger and has all the flavor you want in a holiday cookie! They are soft and chewy and will make your house smell like Christmas heaven as they bake!
But the best part is the chance to decorate them together as a family! It is absolutely one of my favorite holiday traditions. My icing is super sweet and delicious but also acts as the perfect “glue” to adorn your gingerbread will all your favorite candies!
Ingredients for Gingerbread Cookies
For The Cookies
- Butter- You will want to make sure that the butter is softened to room temperature so that it creams well with the sugars.
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar- Brown sugar is going to give the gingerbread a wonderfully deep sweet flavor, but it will also keep the cookies soft and chewy.
- Molasses- This is a key ingredient to the classic gingerbread flavor.
- Flour– All purpose flour is all we need, here.
- Ground Ginger
- Baking Powder
How To Make Classic Gingerbread Cookies
- Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, molasses and vanilla extract and beat again until it is mixed well.
- Scrape the sides again and add in the dry ingredients (the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and salt) and continue to mix slowly while the flour incorporates into the dough. Dough will be soft but not super sticky. You will want it to be a Play-Dough consistency. If it feels a little to stiff add a little water. If it is too soft add a little flour.
- Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and roll the dough out to 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut our the dough and transfer them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until the cookies have puffed up and the tops no longer look wet and glossy.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for an additional 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
How to make Icing for Gingerbread Cookies
Make the icing by creaming together butter and shortening. When the butter mixture is nice and smooth, add powdered sugar and the liquids while continuing to mix. Icing should be thick and creamy. Add an extra tsp of milk if you need to thin out the icing at all.
Transfer the icing to a piping bag, or a ziplock with the corner cut off and decorate your cookies.
How to Store Gingerbread Cookies
The cookies will stay soft and fresh in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They freeze well for up to 3 months!
Are Gingerbread Cookies soft or hard?
This really depends on the recipe you use and what you prefer. I prefer soft and chewy gingerbread cookies so that is what you’ll get if you follow this recipe.
Do I need to chill my gingerbread cookie dough before baking?
This depends on the recipe. If you follow my recipe, you won’t need to worry about chilling the dough prior to baking.
More Christmas Cookies
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup salted butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp salted butter softened
- 2 tbsp vegetable shortening can use all butter, if needed.
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract I like to use clear vanilla
- milk to thin
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add in the egg, molasses and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- Add the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix together. Start mixing slowly, gaining speed as the flour incorporates. Mix until the dough has come together.
- The dough should be easy to work with and Play-Doh like consistency. If it is very stiff, add a little water, if it is too soft add in a little flour until you get Play-Doh like consistency.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Roll to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut the cookies out.
- Transfer the cookies to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.Bake at 350° F (180°C) for 6-8 minutes or until the cookies are puffy and no longer glossy.
- Let the cookies rest on the hot cookie sheet for 5- 10 minutes before transferring to a metal cooling rack.
- Frost* if desired and serve.
- Prepare the icing by first creaming together the butter and shortening.
- Next alternate adding the powdered sugar one cup at a time and the liquid. (powdered sugar, vanilla, powdered sugar, a tiny splash of milk to bring things together, powdered sugar).
- Add a small amount of milk to get a thick creamy consistency.
- Transfer to a piping bag and decorate your cookies.
- Will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
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