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Recipe

November 15, 2023

Easy Gingerbread Cookies

Sweet and simple!

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Gingerbread men cookies in a row.

I Heart Naptime

This recipe was provided by Jamielyn Nye, who is a cookbook author and food blogger at I Heart Naptime. For more easy, family-friendly recipes visit IHeartNaptime.net 

Gingerbread men are a classic staple of the holiday season. Decorating and bringing them to life with eyes, smiles, hair and holiday outfits, is a delight for both children and adults alike. We found the perfect gingerbread recipe that isn’t too labor intensive and will taste delicious when you finally decide to take a bite out of one of these edible ornaments. We also included a simple icing recipe. Enjoy!  

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

  • Prep time: 24 mins

  • Cook time: 8 mins

  • Chill time: 1 hr

  • Total time: 1 hr 32 mins

  • Servings: 24

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsps unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks softened)

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup molasses (I prefer Grandma's original)

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger

  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium until smooth and creamy. Then add in the molasses and again, beat until smooth. Next, add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Then add to the butter mixture and mix on low until combined.

Mixing Gingerbread men cookie dough.
Mixing Gingerbread men cookie dough.
I Heart Naptime

3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece with plastic wrap. Press until flat. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 3 days.

4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Roll out the dough 1/4" thick on a floured surface. If it's too hard, you may need to let it soften for a few minutes. If it's too sticky, knead in a little more flour. Cut into shapes. (I prefer using 3 to 4 inch cookie cutters).

Cutting Gingerbread Men out of gingerbread cookie dough.
Cutting Gingerbread Men out of gingerbread cookie dough.
I Heart Naptime

5. Place your gingerbread men onto the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Repeat with extra dough and roll out as needed. Use additional baking sheets if necessary. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the centers are set and the cookies are fluffy. Be careful not to let them burn!

Gingerbread Men cookies on a baking sheet ready to go into the oven.
Gingerbread Men cookies on a baking sheet ready to go into the oven.
I Heart Naptime

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy the cookies plain or decorate with icing once the cookies have cooled.

Iced Gingerbread Men cookies.
Iced Gingerbread Men cookies.
I Heart Naptime

Easy Cookie Icing

Ingredients

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Whisk ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Add more milk if needed. This icing should be the consistency of thick toothpaste. (I recommend a #4 round tip to decorate)

  2. Freezing instructions:

  3. These cookies freeze well. Allow them to cool and then place in a freezer safe container. You can also freeze the wrapped dough for 2-3 months.  

Notes

  • These cookies freeze well. Allow them to cool and then place in a freezer safe container. You can also freeze the wrapped dough for 2-3 months. 

  • Find full recipe notes and reviews here!

  • Also for more simple recipes that are great for busy families that can be made in under an hour, check out the I Heart Naptime Cookbook

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