Gingerbread Men Cookies & Dough Recipe

 gingerbread-cookies
Gingerbread Cookies means one thing and one thing only.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
When I owned my bakery this meant two things actually; Christmas was coming and sleep was going to be a far away memory for the next couple months!
I would start making gingerbread cookies the day after Thanksgiving.
And even that was a little bit late since most folks were looking for these little gems around Halloween time!
But hey, one holiday at a time am I right!??
I so do love this dough and you do not have to stick with only gingerbread men cut outs you know!
Get creative, who ever said Reindeer had to be made out of Sugar Cookie Dough!?
Or Christmas Tree Cookies for that matter!?
I love the addition of black pepper here, it works beautifully with those other spices like ginger and pumpkin pie spice!
If you are making Gingerbread Houses I would suggest to double or even triple this recipe depending on how big you want your house to be.
In my opinion you can’t have too much gingerbread dough anyway, since these baby’s go FAST during the holiday fiestas!


5.0 from 3 reviews
Gingerbread Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Be sure all the ingredients area t room temperature before mixing
Recipe makes almost 2lbs of dough to make approx 24 medium sized gingerbread men.
Double the recipe for making a gingerbread house
Author:
Serves: 24 - 4" Gingerbread men
Ingredients
  • All Purpose Flour 3 cups (390g)
  • Baking Soda 1 teaspoon (5g)
  • Ground Cinnamon 1 teaspoon (2g)
  • Ground Ginger 1 teaspoon (2g)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice ½ teaspoon (2g)
  • Salt ½ teaspoon (3g)
  • Black Pepper ¼ teaspoon
  • Unsalted Butter Room Temp ¼ cup (56g) (*I know in the video it looked like I had more than this - my measure was wrong!)
  • Shortening ¼ cup (56g)
  • Light Brown Sugar ½ cup packed (105g)
  • Molasses ⅔ cup (226g) (158ml)
  • Large Egg 1 (50g)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
Instructions
  1. Sift the flour with the baking soda and all of the spices and the salt and pepper, set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and shortening with the brown sugar until light and fluffy about 4-5 minutes,
  3. Add the molasses to the creamed butter mixture and mix well, scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the sifted flour - spice mixture while blending on low speed, mix until it is all incorporated evenly.
  5. Turn out the entire dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap.
  6. Wrap the dough tightly and press into a disc.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight before rolling.
  8. Once out of the fridge you must re-roll this dough. Mash it all together and knead it back together, then RE-roll on a floured work surface until it is pliable.
  9. Cut your shapes, and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350° F, you will bake for approximately 12-18 minutes or until light golden brown. It is difficult to say how long exactly – as I do not know what shapes you are cutting or to what thickness you desire

VEGANIZE THIS RECIPE!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 24 - 4" gingerbread Men
Ingredients
  • All Purpose Flour 3 cups (390g)
  • Baking Soda 1 teaspoon (5g)
  • Ground Cinnamon 1 teaspoon (2g)
  • Ground Ginger 1 teaspoon (2g)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice ½ teaspoon (2g)
  • Salt ½ teaspoon (3g)
  • Black Pepper ¼ teaspoon
  • Shortening ½ cup (113g)
  • Light Brown Sugar ½ cup packed (105g)
  • Molasses ⅔ cup (226g) (158ml)
  • Ground Flax Seeds 1 Tablespoon (8g)
  • Hot Water 2 Tablespoons
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
Instructions
  1. Combine ground flax seed with hot water and whisk smooth
  2. Let stand for at least 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes to thicken to a paste
  3. Sift the flour with the baking soda and all of the spices and the salt and pepper, set aside.
  4. Cream the shortening with the brown sugar until light and fluffy about 4-5 minutes,
  5. Add the molasses to the creamed butter mixture and mix well, scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the flax egg and vanilla extract.
  6. Add the sifted flour mixture while blending on low speed, mix until it is all incorporated evenly.
  7. Turn out the entire dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap.
  8. Wrap the dough tightly and press into a disc.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight before rolling.
  10. Once out of the fridge you must re-roll this dough. Mash it all together and knead it back together, then RE-roll on a floured work surface until it is pliable.
  11. Cut your shapes, and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350° F, you will bake for approximately 12-18 minutes or until light golden brown. It is difficult to say how long exactly – as I do not know what shapes you are cutting or to what thickness you desire
 

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56 Comments

  1. Hi Gretchen, what can use instead of Pumpkin pie spice , i have not seen it here in Australia? Thanks for all your wonderful recipes i just love them.

  2. Hi Gretchen…I clicked on the “Christmas tree cookies” link and it navigated to royal icing recipe…can you send me link for the Christmas tree cookies?

  3. Oh ,Gretchen! These Gingerbread men are soo cute! Their eyes a cracking me up,they look like I feel after all the Christmas baking!!! I wanted to tell you, in my gingerbread recipe I like to add a big pinch of Chinese 5Spice along all of the other spices. I gave my sister the recipe ,oh but I forgot to tell her about the 5 spice (oops!) & she always says “why don’t mine taste like yours?”HaHa! I’m just getting even for all the years she picked on her baby sister!!! Also her in N.E.Pa they go crazy for Italian Pepper cookies,they have black pepper in them! Did you ever make them ,my recipe is a softer cookie,is a family recipe from an 86yr old lady from Italy,so special!

    1. hahaha! I know what you mean! I look that way every morning! LOL
      Hey thanks for the great tip! I love it! And are you sure you “forgot” to tell your sis? LOL WOOPS!

  4. Hi Gretchen….just finished my second grandsons birthday cake….using your recipes …..both cakes turned out amazing…thank you…
    Can this recipe be frozen after being cut into shapes and baked…or is it better to freeze dough and cut and baked later when needed. Can I post my cakes on your facebook page?

  5. Hi Gretchen!

    Are these cookies soft and chewy or more crispy? Also, how long do these cookies last baked and decorated in an air tight container?

    Thanks.

  6. hey gretchen i love all of your recipes! i had a question is there such a thing as gingerbread cake?
    can i try to convert say the vanilla butter cream cake? or do you have such a recipe? i thought it might be a good idea….

  7. Hi. This year I am making a gingerbread nativity scene instead of a house and I want to use your gingerbread recipe. But why use butter AND shortening? I only use butter in your swiss meringue buttercream (which is awesome, by the way). Can I do the same here or does the shortening have a mission in the dough? Love your recipes – and your style. Keep going for all of us pour sods who might bake well but lack your creative talent.

  8. Good Afternoon Gretchen,

    I’m allergic to nuts. Would it be possible to leave the nutmeg out of the pumpkin spice?

    1. This was an interesting question since I do not consider Nutmeg to be a Nut- so I did some googling and found this:
      It appears that nutmeg seed is not considered a tree nut, and Allergists do not recommend avoiding it if you’re allergic to peanuts or tree nuts. If you notice that you develop allergy symptoms when you eat nutmeg, you may have an allergy to certain seeds and should advise your doctor.

      That being said- if you want to avoid the Nutmeg Seed, you can absolutely leave it out sure!

    1. The hole has to be bigger than you think since this dough puffs slightly and will want t close (but even if that happens you can poke it again as soon as they come out of the oven before they cool)
      Is that the trouble you had? Or something else?

    1. YES SURE! You just pack the dough into each cavity of the mold and then bake!
      Im not sure the depth on that mold though, but Im pretty sure it is deeper than the ¼” I used for these men, so be wary of the bake time, perhaps even lower temp to 325°F bake until they are golden on the edges but not raw in the centers

  9. Dear Gretchen what does the pumkin spice do in the cookie and pepper can I just put cinnamon and ginger And is the cookie soft or hard

    1. the Pumpkin PIe spice basically covers all the spices that are used in Gingerbread, so its a one shot deal. Yes you can adjust as you prefer and the cookie is crispy outside soft inside

  10. What is the texture of the finished cookie? I used to buy wonderful gingerbread men in Philly that were large and soft and have been searching for a recipe to recreate these myself. Any suggestions? Thank you so much and Merry Christmas!

  11. Dearest Grechen,
    Love your cookie recipe, my first time. We don’t have molasses here, so I used honey, n a little brown coloring. Came out fantastic. Thank you very much. BTW I love your presentation s.

    Lots of love

  12. Arghhhhhh, I just realised I never put the baking soda in. It’s actually not in your order of ingredients o combine. It does mean it won’t rise, right. Can I still use the dough?

    1. Hi Gretchen, i sprinkled the baking soda on the dough then kneaded it through, turned out perfect. Where there’s a will there’s a way. LOL. Thanks heaps for your awesome recipes and guidance.
      I continue to turn to your site on a regular basis.
      Cheers from Australia.

  13. Hi Gretchen, I am excited that a local bakery that does only bread has invited me to supply some Christmas cookies this year. I am wondering if I can roll this dough, do the cut outs and freeze the unbaked shaped to be baked as needed?

    as always thanks for your advice, time and sharing of your knowledge

  14. Gretchen, thanks for the quick response. To date I have been selling on line, using an approved kitchen to produce goods and having folks pick up at my home because I can’t sell out of the kitchen I am using. So, to have my work in a brick and mortar is really exciting. I owe a great amount of the excitement to you and your support.
    thanks,
    eileen

  15. hi Gretchen… just wanted to mention 2 things… first, this gingerbread recipe is the best!… easy to work with and tastes great, so thank you for that…. secondly, is that a pastry brush that you’re using in the video to brush off the extra flour?.. I have one that I use but it’s silicone and doesn’t do a good job and it’s not nice and wide like yours is in the video… it’s a bristle brush, right?

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