My Recipe Box

Gingerbread Cookies

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Yields about 3 dozen 4-inch-tall gingerbread people.

  • To learn more, read:
    A Sweet Holiday Gift
  • by Joanne Chang from Fine Cooking
    Issue 68

Lightly flour the sharp edge of your cookie cutters to keep the dough from sticking.

Visit the Guide to Christmas for more holiday recipes and tips for perfect Christmas cookies.

  • 14-1/4 oz. (3 cups plus 2 Tbs.) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 3/4 lb. (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup very firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
Tip:
For the best results, measure your flour by weight instead of volume. (1 cup of all-purpose flour equals 4-1/2 oz.) If you don’t have a scale, be sure to use the proper technique when filling your measuring cups.

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, and salt. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and molasses on medium until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour until blended. Divide the dough, wrap each half in plastic, and chill until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.

Position a rack in the center of the oven; heat the oven to 350°F. Lay each piece of dough between two long sheets of parchment or waxed paper. If the dough is very firm, let it sit until pliable. Roll it to about 1/8 inch thick. Peel off the top layer of paper and cut out cookies with a cookie cutter. Put the sheet of dough in the freezer for a few minutes until the dough firms enough to easily transfer the cutouts to ungreased cookie sheets (space them about 2  inches apart). Gather and reroll the scraps. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 10 to 12  min. Let cool on the sheet for 1 minute before transferring the cookies to a rack to cool.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for three to four days.

Photo: Scott Phillips

These were the best tasting gingerbread cookies I have ever made. I used a good quality ground ginger and cinnamon. The crumb was particularly fine for gingerbread cookie and even non-cookie lovers enjoyed them. However, the dough was difficult to work with. I found it easiest to roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper, freeze it, cut out the shapes, freeze those and pop them in the oven. It was worth the effort given the compliments.

Followed the recipe exactly-all ingredients were at optimum temperature and used my trusty pans which work with all other cookies-yet these were a disaster-they were difficult to roll without extra flour added, and spread beyond any recognition. Tasted fine, though.

These are a nice light cookie. I roll them in a tube and put them in a paper towel holder and freeze them. This keeps them in a nice round shape. When I need them, I take them out cut them 1/4 inch thick and 10 minutes later - cookies.

These cookies are good, although I was disappointed with the amount of spread during baking (even with cool cookie sheets and chilling the dough overnight). I thought these were rather mediocre.

I found these to be quite bland and boring and I even doubled the ginger! Also they were a pain to roll. Very disappointing.

Simply the best gingerbread cookies ever.

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