This year I wanted to make the most classic looking and tasting gingerbread men I possibly could and here is the result! I used Rebecca Rather’s “ginger people” recipe from The Pastry Queen cookbook and decorated them with a touch of royal icing. Aren’t they cute? In my mind, this is exactly what a gingerbread man should look like. Sweet and simple.
Although I’m not the biggest fan of gingerbread cookies, these passed my taste test with flying colors. They are soft on the inside and have nice molasses and spice flavors. The only downside to this recipe is the dough needs to chill overnight so you need to plan ahead. After chilling, the dough is relatively easy to work with and the cookies maintain their shape nicely when baking. On that note, I think this would be a great recipe to use if you’re making your own gingerbread house. We will be making ours this weekend – a Christmas tradition in our house!
Gingerbread Men (makes approximately 40 cookies)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
In a large saucepan, stir together sugar, molasses, water, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add butter. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and incorporated. Let cool for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture (after it’s cooled) with a wooden spoon. Mix until combined.
Place dough into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and flatten the dough evenly into one sheet. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 375F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a clean, flat surface with a light dusting of flour. Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness, adding flour as need. With a floured cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling racks before icing.
1 Tbs meringue powder
2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 Tbs of water
red & green food coloring, if desired
Place ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat until icing is smooth and matte, about 8 minutes. Color and pipe icing as desired.
Recipe from The Pastry Queen