It’s a golden rule for bakers everywhere: you *must* bake gingerbread men cookies in December! These traditional spiced gingerbread men cookies are the perfect addition to your holiday fun. In each bite you can taste subtle hints of each ingredient – molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and light brown sugar.
Last December I made Skinny Gingerbread Men Cookies that used applesauce in lieu of most of the butter. For those looking for a healthy alternative, that’s a fabulous recipe!
You’ll love how easy these are to bake: mix wet ingredients, mix the dry, combine the two, divide the dough, refrigerate, roll out and BAKE.
Then comes the very best part about baking gingerbread men: DECORATING! Your grocery store should sell plastic decorating tips in its baking aisle. Buy them – you’ll want to use the rounded tip with your piping bag (DIY piping bag tutorial here)! These little tools saves so much hassle.
Proof is in the pudding, right? Just look my Skinny Gingerbread Men Cookies from last year… decorated sans piping tip. I’m still no decorating pro, but I feel much more confident giving this year’s cookies away!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2-2/3 cups flour (I used whole wheat – plus more for rolling out dough)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 large egg whites OR 5 tablespoons meringue powder
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
- Add molasses, egg and water.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mix well.
- Divide the dough in half, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Working with one ball of dough at a time (leave the other in the fridge), roll out on a floured surface until 1/4″ or 1/8″ thick.
- Press a gingerbread man cookie cutter into the dough, then transfer cookie to baking sheet (note: I put 9 gingerbread men on each baking sheet, about 1″ apart).
- Repeat for all the dough, baking in batches.
- Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes.
- Cool the cookies on a wire rack before decorating with royal icing and holiday sprinkles.
- Add all of the ingredients in an electric mixer (low speed) and mix until smooth and shiny.
- Turn the speed to high and mix for 5 minutes, until icing is stiff and glossy.
- Add the icing to a piping bag (DIY piping bag tutorial here) and decorate cookies as desired.