Monday, December 13, 2010

Only in December -- The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Seriously, these are THE best gingerbread cookies. Ever. Not only are they delicious, but they're soft, too.  In fact, whenever people try these cookies, the most common response is, "Soft gingerbread cookies?!"


But I have to say from the get-go:  I can take almost no credit for their wonderfulness. My mom picked up the recipe years ago at a gorgeous four-star inn and restaurant in my hometown (my husband and I also had our wedding reception there almost eight years ago. We love that place.). The only change I made to the recipe was the amount of flour in it -- I think the amount indicated in the recipe was a misprint (when I followed the amount on the original, the cookies were like pancakes).

Anyway, without further ado, the gingerbread cookies that I wait all year to make...

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened
1 cup brown sugar (I use light brown, but I'm sure dark would be fine, too)
2 large eggs
1 cup molasses
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground ginger
5 cups all-purpose flour


In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.


Add molasses. Mmmmmm....the smell reminds me of Christmas (and my dad, who loves old-fashioned molasses candy). Mix. 

In a separate bowl, combine the soda, salt, spices, and flour.  Add to the wet mixture. Mix until smooth. 


Before you roll out the dough, you need to let the dough chill for a couple hours.  Before I put my dough in the fridge, I like to split it up, flatten it on a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it up, and stick it the fridge. This makes rolling out the chilled dough a little easier because it's ready to go.


Once your dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured countertop until it's about 1/4 inch thick.


Cut into desired shapes.  This is my boys' favorite part of the process, right up there with eating the dough.

While you're doing this, you should also be preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

On a lined or greased baking sheet, bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. It can be a little tricky to tell when they're done (wait until they're golden brown?). Just mess up one of the uglier cut-outs to test for doneness.


Let the cookies cool on wire racks before you decorate decorate with frosting, candy, and/or sprinkles.


Or just eat them sans frosting (sometimes they don't last long enough to get frosted -- my family eats them so quickly!) Serve to your family and friends and bask in the deliciousness that is homemade gingerbread.  Just one of the reasons I love December.

{Note:  A couple years ago, my mom and I thought it would be fun to use the gingerbread cookies as decorations around the house. When we did that, we added a couple extra cups of flour to the dough. The extra dough makes the cookies really hard but suitable for using as decor. When we cut out the cookies, we put a little hole in the top with a skewer so we could hang them once they were baked. We frosted them like we usually do, looped some ribbon through the holes at the top (we also used fishing line on some of them, too).  My gingerbread snowflakes looked great on my tree.  Talk about cheap homemade decorations!}

Note: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have disclosed.

36 comments:

Heather Dixon said...

I just got these. I am so using this recipe.

Tonia said...

I know what we are making tonight! Thanks for sharing! I hope you get feeling better. I do another Open House in March/April. It is a bookraiser in honor of my son, Caleb. I donate all the free books earned to the NICU at various hospitals. I will let you know!

carrie said...

These are the BEST gingerbread cookies I've ever had....and they ARE so soft. :o) Thank you for posting this recipe. You made my day!

Lindsay said...

Thank you for the post, you must've read my mind this morning! Can't wait to try them.

Maggi Bruce said...

Heather, Thanks for the recipe! It turned out wonderfully!

Heather said...

Yay!!! I'm so glad to hear it!

Regina said...

I just made these and they turned out awesome! We made Ninjabread cookies.

Heather said...

I'm so glad they worked out for you and I love the Ninjabread cutters -- I need to get some! :)

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie said...

These sound great! How many cookies does this recipe make?

Heather said...

Oooh, hard to say because I do all sorts of shapes and sizes when I make gingerbread cookies, you know? The best estimate I can give you of the yield is that I filled up three cookie sheets with various cut-outs of gingerbread men, elves, reindeer, and trees.

Joanna Reay said...

These are truly amazing! Moist, chewy & delicious

Best recipe by FAR

Heather said...

Yay! I'm so glad it worked out for you. The only bad thing about them is that they are ADDICTING! :)

Tanya sn said...

FINALLY..... Thank You! Can't wait to try this recipe!! :)

chiquita said...

Is the batter sticky, your picture looks more like a dough? I have some batter in fridge. Tastes yummy.

Heather said...

@chiquita -- the batter can be pretty sticky when you put into the fridge. After a couple hours, though, the stickiness isn't a problem and it's definitely more workable. Be sure to flour the countertop and your roller, though. :)

Andi said...

This dough is sticky when you make it as described - even after being in the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. HOWEVER, upon adding a little flour at a time, this dough was like Heaven. It was soft, lush, and VERY manageable. And the best thing is that you can cook it to just done for soft, chewy cookies or cook a little more for cookies that have a bite/ snap on the edge and are still soft in the middle. SOOOOO GOOOOD! Thank you for sharing it!

p said...

Your recipe sounds amazing! I'm looking to make harder gingerbread cookies to eat. I don't want to throw off the flavors by just adding in an extra cup of flour without adjusting anything else. How can I make harder gingerbread cookies to eat with your recipe? I'm hoping to make these today. Thanks for your help!

Heather said...

@Andi -- I'm so glad they worked out for you! I love hearing success stories. :)

@p -- For harder cookies, you can follow Andi's advice in the comment above yours and bake them longer. I've accidentally done that with a few of mine this season (I've baked at least 5-6 batches of these cookies this month already!) and they do get pretty hard. You can also roll them out thinner than I suggest in the post (I like to keep mine quite thick, hence the nice soft cookie). Hope that helps!

p said...

Thank you for the help, Heather! We made gingerbread cookies for the first time & they were a complete success! I followed your instructions & ingredient amounts exactly as you wrote them & they turned out very crunchy! I have no idea why, but that's exactly what I wanted! We used blackstrap molasses & though it was different, the cookies grew on us. Thanks, again!

emgee said...

Hi! i just made these cookies. they are really good! thank you for this. btw, how do we store them and how long will they last?

Marina Stavrinidou said...

Thank you so much for this recipe!! I just tried it and the cookies came out beautiful!! I used carob syrup instead of molasses and an extra cup of flour! Merry Christmas!I will definitely do them again next year!

Sharon said...

How long can the dough stay in the refrigerator before rolling them?

Heather said...

@Sharon -- Two hours in the fridge is what I usually do, but I know I've left it in the fridge longer. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've let gingerbread dough sit in the fridge for a good 24 hours because I couldn't find the time to do the cut-outs. :) Hope that helps.

dirtycountry said...

Trying to trust you ladies. This batter seems really really sticky. I don't even think it's ok to divide it into seperate plastic wraps. Looks nothing like your pictures.

Roxann Short said...

May I ask what the original amount of flour was for the recipe. Usually when cookies are flat it is because of using all butter in a recipe. I usually use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening and that corrects the problem. If you use all shortening you get a cakey cookie. I like to refrigerate overnight so all the ingredients really mingle together. The cookies are more flavorful that way.

Tomeika Walker said...

Made these today for my girls to decorate. They're very soft and yummy. I doubled the spices and added 1 tsp nutmeg and dash of black pepper. They still weren't as spicy as I wanted but still very good. Thanks!

Till Death Do I Write said...

A good recipe to go as a guideline for soft gingerbread cookies, but in my personal opinion, by following the recipe, there is way too much of a molasses flavour. More molasses than ginger, even with additional spicing. With tweaking it's a great recipe though!

Aline said...

This is the best Gingerbread cookie recipe I ever made!!It brought me so many memories!! Thanks 4 sharing!Greetings from Brazil!

mtmickey said...

My sister-in-law made these for us for Christmas this year. They are the BEST gingerbread cookies I have ever had. Even a week and a half later they were delicious...ate the last one yesterday and had to ask her for the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

andrea chiu said...


I really had a great time stopping by your site, it gives me a lot of information. You can also visit my site, thank you!

triciajoy.com

www.triciajoy.com

Unknown said...

I usually don't write reviews for things unless they're particularly terrible or the best thing EVER. It took me 30 minutes to find this recipe again....I made gingerbread using this recipe last year and it was a HIT!!! My entire family and all of my friends couldn't get enough!!! I can't wait to get started on this again this year!

Kelly Wyner-Tripp said...

Approx how many cookies can you get out of this recipe? I'm baking for 9 of us to decorate.

Freda Sultana said...

I made a batch of these gingerbreads yesterday, i must say wont be making them next year. I followed the recipe to th T but the flavour of the mollasses was overpowering and not enough ginger or spice flavouring. Very disappointing, next year i will stick to my original recipe.

kholmes15 said...

Dough was completely impossible to work with. I even rolled them out before putting in freezer and still no luck. I've made several gingerbread recipes and was looking for a softer cut out one. Anyways I like the flavor but you need at least an extra cup of flour thrown in.

Haley Holden said...

Hello!!! Do you know if this recipe can be made in advanced and put in the freezer until ready to use??

Thanks!

Related Posts with Thumbnails