These Gingerbread Cookies are here to cast their sweet spell on you this Christmas! ❤
Ahh, it’s chilly outside. The ‘Glee’ cast belts out some of my favourite Christmas tunes. And my home is filled with the most wondrous of aromas – ginger and cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg, all beautifully knit together with the sweet notes of molasses. My favourite time of year is here; Christmas is just around the corner! ❤
It’s not too early to be excited for Christmas, is it? I figure, the earlier we get the holiday baking underway, the more time we have to cozy up to each other, with mugs of hot chocolate, while watching all the good Christmas movies, right? 😉
For me the Holiday season is all about family, friends, dressing up in layers, shopping, sharing festivities with loved ones, date nights, making memories and baking; LOTS of baking! It’s the perfect excuse to create the most delightful treats in your kitchen and to get the entire family to ice cookies and roll truffles. It’s the time I am happiest!
Also, baking and icing these super cute Gingerbread Cookies is something I could do all year round, if Christmas time would just oblige to be a 12-month long season! 😛 This recipe for Gingerbread is my go-to and I love everything about the cookies it yields – the colour, flavour and texture! 🙂
Without further ado, here’s what you need to bake a batch of these cuties. This recipe makes about 25 little cookies…
For the Gingerbread Cookies:
- All Purpose Flour – 195 g
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Baking Soda – 1/4 + 1/8 tsp
- Ground Ginger – 1 & 1/4 tsp
- Ground Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
- Ground Nutmeg – 1/8 tsp
- Ground Cloves – 1/8 tsp
- Unsalted Butter – 57 g, softened
- Caster Sugar – 50 g
- Egg – 1/2, beaten
- Molasses – 80 ml
For the Royal Icing:
- Egg White – 1 large
- Fresh Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
- Vanilla Extract – 1/4 tsp
- Icing Sugar – 165 g, sifted
Here’s how you make these cutout cookies:
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
- Using a hand/stand mixer, beat butter until creamy; then add sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and the molasses and beat until just incorporated.
- Beat in the flour mixture, part by part, to ensure minimal splatter. When all the flour is incorporated into the dough, turn the hand/stand mixer off. At this point the dough will be a bit sticky.
- Turn the dough out on to a large piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper, flatten it out into a disc, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until needed – at least an hour, though leaving it in the fridge overnight is recommended.
- Once chilled, turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and roll out until it is at about 1/2 a centimeter in thickness. Keep turning and lifting the dough at intervals to ensure it doesn’t stick to the surface.
- Use Christmas-y cookie cutters to cutout cookies. Gently lift and place the cutouts on to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C/ 350 °F. While the oven is preheating, pop the cookie sheet with the cookies into the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes. This is to ensure they hold their shape while baking and don’t spread too much.
- Take the cookie sheet out of the refrigerator and pop it directly into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Repeat the same rolling-out, cutting out, chilling and baking process with the rest of the dough. Let all the Gingerbread cookies to cool completely.
- As the cookies cool, for the royal icing, whisk the egg white, lemon juice and vanilla together until lightly frothy. Add in the icing sugar, bit by bit, whisking continuously, until you get glossy, white icing of a thick piping consistency. You can add more icing sugar to thicken it further or use 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time to thin it down to the desired consistency.
- Use the icing to decorate the cookies any way you like and leave them to dry overnight. Once the icing is dried completely, store the cookies in airtight containers.
If I may say so myself, these cookies are the bomb! Adapted from the Gingerbread recipe on JoyOfBaking.com, they are wonderfully spiced, with each bite revealing splashes of different flavours. The light ginger notes, coupled with the enveloping sweetness of the molasses, are beautifully offset with hits of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove, all so very Christmas-y! The aroma when these beauties are baking is splendid and simply add to the all-round warmth of the season. The texture too is perfect, holds its own, but soft, with a slight crunch, while bitten into. ❤
I’ve just been baking these Gingerbread Cookies since the last two Christmases and yet, they’ve become a household favourite. Apart from their incredible flavour, the whole process of sitting around and decorating them with family has been something I really look forward. The fun, creativity and excitement is unparalleled. 😀 Food and family, just the kind of moments I hold dearest!
Before I go on and on about my love for Christmas and these cookies, and don’t leave even an ounce of excitement remaining for the many Christmas-y recipes that I’ll be posting in the next few weeks, let me leave you with a few tips and tricks that work like a charm with this recipe…
- When the dough is all put together, you’ll find that it is sticky and tacky and doesn’t really look like cookie dough. Please don’t worry about it and DO NOT add in more flour at this point. Since we will be using extra flour while rolling the dough out, it’s imperative that we leave the dough sticky while it chills. We don’t want super dense or floury cookies!
- Letting the dough chill in the refrigerator is a really important step. Not only does it firm the dough up for easy rolling, you’ll also find that the flavours develop further and merge well together when the dough is given more time to rest in the refrigerator. I recommend chilling it overnight, though I have, on occasion, chilled it for a few days at a stretch (mainly because I forgot about it). 😛 However, if you do not have a lot of time on your hands, chilling the dough for an hour before rolling it out is enough for the cookie to hold its own, and taste great too!
- Don’t decorate a warm cookie. It just won’t work out and you’ll end up frustrated. Trust me, I know! Only decorate the cookies once they are completely cool.
- Royal Icing turns hard when exposed to air. If your icing is lying in a bowl, make sure to cover it while you are working on other cookies. If you are working with a piping bag and nozzle, do wipe the tip of the nozzle and cover it with some tissue or parchment when you set it aside to take a break.
- Icing cookies alone can be a back-breaking process; constantly slouching and bending your neck while decorating a cookie can be painful. To keep and spread the holiday cheer, while also ensuring perfect back and neck health, get the many hands in your home, extended family, friends’ circles and neighbourhood to help. It’s a fun activity for all ages. So pop open a bottle of red, set out the juice boxes and snacks, and let your guests eat a cookie or two while they decorate, and it’ll be a cookie party to remember! 😀
This cookie dough literally takes just 10 minutes to put together. So, you’ve absolutely got to give this recipe a whirl! These Gingerbread cookies are delightful and delicious, and you’ll love them, I promise! 🙂 ❤
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