Gingerbread Cookies

There's just something about gingerbread. It evokes the holidays, the strings of ornaments and lights, and the unwrapping of gifts. But you don't have to wait until December to start making gingerbread cookies. Our terrific recipes will have you making delicious cookies long before the holiday season starts.

Gingerbread owes its fantastic taste to the ginger root, which has long been used in ancient traditional medicine. Ginger is said to reduce nausea, congestion, and inflammation. While we're not promising that our cookies will do all that, it's nice to know that even though you're eating a cookie, it's made with one of the world's healthiest ingredients. We've also added lemon and cloves for a more natural and organic feel.

World's Best Gingerbread Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease your cookie pans or line them with parchment paper (either one works just fine).
  • Whisk 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1 tablespoon of ground ginger together.
  • In a separate bowl, beat 6 tablespoons of softened butter, 1 egg, and 3/4 cup of brown sugar. This is where you'll want to use that new KitchenAid mixer you got last year from your in-laws. Make sure the mix is well blended and creamy.
  • Add 1/2 cup molasses, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest into the butter and brown sugar mix. The lemon zest is optional, but we highly recommend it; it gives the gingerbread a little fruity tang.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients gradually. Make sure you don't add too much of the flour mixture at one time and that the mix stays creamy, but starts to thicken a little bit.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic and let stand for 2-8 hours at room temperature. You can also refrigerate the dough if you want to make the cookies tomorrow, but it can't be refrigerated for longer than 48 hours.
  • Sprinkle flour on a cutting board and begin rolling out your dough. This is your time to get creative: you can make small round cookies, or you can use a gingerbread man cut-out to make fun shapes.
  • Spread cookies a little over an inch apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes. If you prefer a softer cookie, use a little less time.

Gingerbread Cookies

Decorating Gingerbread Cookies

Once your fantastically delicious cookies are done, you have some options for decorating them. If you made gingerbread shapes, you can decorate them with different colored icing or cake decorating tubes. This is a fun activity for kids, but adults enjoy it too. You can give your gingerbread man little buttons or a hat.

If you want to go for a more traditional decoration, you can gently brush them with glaze. Many bakeries will use a powdered-sugar glaze that's simple to make. You can also opt to sprinkle a little sea salt on top of your cookies to give it that added dimension of taste.

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