Charming Gingerbread Man Cookies

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Sharing all the details on how to make gingerbread cookies! This is the perfect gingerbread man cookies recipe and the only recipe you’ll ever need. These cookies are full of flavor and spices. Decorate them with royal icing for a perfectly, sweetened cookie for the holidays!

Our gingerbread cookies truly have the most delicious gingerbread flavor. I enjoyed eating them with my morning coffee. You will love them too!

If you love gingerbread as much as we do check out Gingerbread House Recipe to Build One Like a Pro, our Gingerbread Tree, the best gingerbread frosting and the most amazing gingerbread latte!

Decorated gingerbread cookies

Yes, gingerbread cookies are meant to be eaten, too — not just to be used to build adorable gingerbread houses. Baked the right way, they’re a delicious holiday favorite.

The texture of gingerbread cutout cookies is not the same as a ginger cookie. A chewy ginger cookie is more like a traditional, chewy buttery cookie. However, gingerbread cookies are more of a “bread” cookie. Think of a biscuit cookie or even something like a biscotti. They have a drier texture and are flavorful, lightly sweetened bread cookies. They have a spicy flavor to them and smell incredible!

Before we dive into making these delicious cookies, here’s a little bit of history about them.

Gingerbread cookies on a plate

History of Gingerbread Cookies

The first known gingerbread cookie recipe originated in Greece in 2400 BC. The Chinese developed recipes in the 10th century, and Europeans had their own version of gingerbread by the late Middle Ages.

Queen Elizabeth, I adorned the cookies, sometimes with gilded leaves and shaped like kings, queens, and animals. Gingerbread shapes changed with the seasons, metamorphosing from birds in the fall to flowers in the spring.

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients to make gingerbread cookies
  • Flour – I use all-purpose flour for this recipe.
  • Dark Brown Sugar – This gives the cookies and even more molasses flavor.
  • Molasses – This is one of the main ingredients in gingerbread cookies. Try Blackstrap (what I used in this recipe) or Grandma’s Original Molasses.
  • Spices – Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves.
  • Baking Soda
  • Vanilla Extract – Extra flavor.
  • Eggs – Used to stabilize the cookie.

You’ll also need ingredients for royal icing and any decorative treats you want to add, like gumdrop buttons!

Tip – If you need a substitution for molasses, you can try a dark corn syrup. However, it will change the taste and look of these cookies.

Gingerbread cookie dough

Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, salt, and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
  • Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the flour. Continue mixing until all of the ingredients are blended together.
Gingerbread cookie dough wrapped in plastic
  • Chill the dough for 1 to 2 hours or overnight. The dough will be sticky and soft, so chilling the dough is imperative when using cookie cutters.
  • Once the dough is chilled, roll it on a floured surface, add flour to the top of the dough so it won’t stick. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick.
Gingerbread cookie
  • Then, use cookie cutters to make shapes. Continue rolling the dough and making shapes until the dough is gone.
  • Place the cookie on a lined baking sheet and bake in a 375-degree oven for 5-6 minutes.
gingerbread cookies on a cooling rack
  • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
  • While the cookies are cooling, make the Royal icing to decorate them.
  • Decorate how you please! For these, we made pink and white royal icing, then used a small hole piping tip and created designs.
  • You can also add sprinkles or gumdrops to your cookies as well.
Gingerbread snowflake cookie decorated with royal icing

How Do You Keep Gingerbread Cookies Fresh?

Unless you’re building a gingerbread house, no one wants stale, rock-hard cookies. 

Store the cookies in a covered tin or jar. Or, wrap them in foil or plastic and store them in a dry, cool place. If you have gingerbread people, you’ll need more space, and you’ll have to wrap them carefully.

If your tin or jar isn’t big enough, make an aluminum foil tent. Just don’t let it touch the tops.

decorated Christmas cookies

How to Decorate Gingerbread Man Cookies

Gingerbread cookies

Decorating gingerbread cookies is a fun, rewarding activity. You have many ways to go about it.

You could, for instance, decorate them with royal icing, which is what prefer! Or you can use buttercream frosting. You can also just dust powdered sugar over the top and call it a day!

Decorating gingerbread cookies with royal icing

What Kind of Molasses Do You Use for Gingerbread Cookies?

Use cooking or fancy molasses for these cookies. Cooking molasses are the most popular choice because it’s flavorful, dark, and delicious.

Cooking molasses combine blackstrap and fancy molasses. The result is sweeter and more palatable than blackstrap.

How Do You Know When Gingerbread Cookies Are Done?

The cookies are done when they have crisp edges and soft centers. Those are signs that they’ve been evenly cooked. The bottoms should be dark or golden brown as well.

If you can’t tell because the dough was pretty dark initially, try a touch test. Gently press the edges to ensure they’re firm. Or, use a spatula to softly nudge them.

Gingerbread cookies on a baking sheet

How Long Will Gingerbread Man Cookies Keep?

Gingerbread cookies usually last for a long four to six weeks. The custom-decorated cookies sold at gourmet stores have a shelf life of around a month. That’s because they’re made from scratch, without preservatives.

More Ideas for Gingerbread Cookies

Of course, they are super tasty but there are other things you can do with gingerbread cookies that will make your house smell amazing!

Gingerbread Ornaments

Make gingerbread cookie ornaments by poking a straw-size hole in the top of the cookie before baking. Then, add string through each one once cooled to hang on the tree.

Gingerbread Garland

A garland is another beautiful way to display homemade gingerbread cookies. Do the same things as if you were making an ornament, but tie them all to one long string, spaced out. Then hang on a mantle or over a window.

Gingerbread Gift Tags

Add a homemade gingerbread cookie to a present! Such a beautiful accent to any gift.

If you’re hosting a party, write the name of each guest on a gingerbread cookie and place them on each plate, where you want the guest to sit.

Gingerbread man cookie tree and candy cane

More Recipes You’ll Love!

Biscotti Recipe with Cranberries and Pistachios

The Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

The Best Blondie Recipe

The Best Chewy Ginger Cookies

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Gingerbread House Icing Recipe

Butteries Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Gingerbread Houses

The Best Gingersnap Cookies

gingerbread man cookies with royal icing

I feel like gingerbread is an underappreciated culinary delight. It is both the firm foundation of houses and the delectable sweet of choice for the holidays and other special occasions.

Try these out and let us know what you think about these gingerbread man cookies. I think you’ll be presently surprised!!

Let us know if you make these by leaving a comment and review below!

You can also FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK and PINTEREST to see more delicious recipes, cocktails, desserts, and parties!

Gingerbread Cookies

Perfect gingerbread cookies that are full of flavor and spices. Decorate them with royal icing for a perfectly, sweetened cookie.
4.88 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 16 minutes
Servings: 24 Cookies
Calories: 94kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molassas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, salt, and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth.
    Ingredients to make gingerbread cookies
  • Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. 
  • Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the flour. Continue mixing until all of the ingredients are blended together. 
    Gingerbread cookie dough
  • Chill the dough for 1 to 2 hours or overnight. The dough will be sticky and soft, so chilling the dough is imperative when using cookie cutters.
    Gingerbread cookie dough wrapped in plastic
  • Once the dough is chilled, roll it on a floured surface, add flour to the top of the dough so it won’t stick. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick. 
    Gingerbread cookie
  • Then, use cookie cutters to make shapes. Continue rolling the dough and making shapes until the dough is gone.
    gingerbread man before baked
  • Place the cookie on a lined baking sheet and bake in a 375-degree oven for 5-6 minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. 
    gingerbread men
  • While the cookies are cooling, make the Royal icing to decorate them.
    gingerbread cookies on a cooling rack
  • Decorate how you please! For these, we made pink and white royal icing, then used a small hole piping tip and created designs. 

Nutrition

Serving: 24g | Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 128IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
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3 thoughts on “Charming Gingerbread Man Cookies”

  1. 5 stars
    Munching on gingerbread cookies while drinking eggnog topped with nutmeg, listening to Christmas music, and wrapping presents…I love it. LOVE it! Good and wonderful cookies!

    Reply

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