Hi there! Today I am sharing my favorite gingerbread cookie recipe. The cookies have the perfect mix of warming spices and are soft in the center, but crispy on the outside. We love to use our favorite cookie cutters and then decorate with sprinkles or icing or possibly some raisins or currants. You can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate for up to a couple of days or even freeze for later use. This year I made them twice. Once for our Christmas Tree Cutting Tailgate Menu and another batch for gift giving and eating at home!
Making gingerbread cookies is a holiday tradition
I have been making this recipe ever since I was in elementary school! I would make them for eating of course but also for decorating our Christmas tree or putting into pretty containers for a holiday gift. My mother loved these cookies and I used to make her a plate just for her! She liked them with tea and called them “spice” cookies and always said the cookies were not overly sweet and perfect with a cup of tea.
Tips for making my favorite gingerbread cookie recipe
A few tips for making what will become your favorite gingerbread cookies:
- Be sure to use plenty of flour on your cutting board or counter where you roll out the dough. The flour melts into the cookie during baking so you do not have to worry about it detracting from the look of the cookie.
- I recommend a non-stick rolling pin. I have had this Kitchen Aid version for years, and it rolls the dough out evenly and without letting it stick.
- When you cut out the dough, place your cookie cutter at the edge as far as it will go. This will allow you to maximize the number of cookies you can cut out at once so the process will be more efficient.
- Like all cookies, you need to watch the baking time carefully. The tops of the cookies should not be too shiny. I usually bake one batch and then try a cookie to determine the best time to bake.
- If you like a soft cookie, make the dough thicker. If you prefer something crispy, roll it out more thinly and cook slightly longer. When I am using dough to decorate I tend to make the cookies crisper so they easily hold their shape. For eating, I prefer a chewy cookie so I adjust the thickness and baking time accordingly.
Favorite Gingerbread Cookies
- Nonstick rolling pin
- Parchment paper
- Cookie cutters
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Sprinkles and raisins or currants if you like for decorating
- Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Put to the side.
- Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla and mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into two thick flat disks. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight or up to a couple of days. You can also freeze dough and then thaw it out when you are ready to use it.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men and women or desired shapes with a cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. If you are using sprinkles or raisins/currants then decorate before baking (raisins and currants won’t stick to baked cookies).
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown (See tips on how to avoid overcooking). Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks and cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.