Of all the Christmas Cookies out there, we can all agree that no cookie spread is complete without Gingerbread Men. Am I right? They have been my favorite holiday cookie since I was a little girl, and my Mom used to make them every year. Her healthier version used whole wheat flour and honey to sweeten and I loved them. They were soft, but almost too soft, always leaving a broken arm or head hanging around. So, we tried to sub out the honey for real sugar and they were crispy, (which I don’t care for.) So, I had kinda given up finding my perfect Gingerbread Man, crisp edges, and super soft & chewy middle, (that don’t fall apart!)
I’m sure you know what’s next- that I found them in this awesome recipe! These are so chewy it’s crazy and they hold up great for decorations and handling. The flavor is awesome with lots of spice and what can I say? It just makes me so darn happy to see these smiling faces looking up at me.
This recipe uses a bit of an unconventional method for making the dough. Everything is cut together with a food processor creating a sandy mixture and then the wet ingredients are added. The dough is rolled out between two sheets of parchment and chilled- making it pretty quick before they’re ready to roll out and cut. (Most recipes require hours of chilling time, I appreciated how quick this was!)
I’m definitely making this recipe a staple in my Christmas Cookie repertoire- who knows, maybe I’ll try to tweak my Mama’s healthier recipe for my kids someday, but for now this is a hands-down fave!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
- ¾ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, spices, salt, and baking soda and process until combined, just a few seconds.
- Add the butter pieces and pulse until mixture is sandy and looks like a fine meal- no big clumps. (This only took about 15-20 seconds.)
- With machine running, gradually add molasses and milk; process until dough comes together.
- Scrape dough onto work surface; divide in half. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll ¼-inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving dough sandwiched between parchment layers, stack on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove one dough sheet from freezer; place on work surface. Peel off top parchment sheet and lay it back in place. Flip dough over; peel off and discard second parchment layer.
- Use cookie cutters to cut dough into men or other shapes. Transfer dough to prepared cookie sheets 1 inch apart.
- Gather scraps and chill while you cut out the second sheet of dough. You can keep re-using the scraps, but may need to add some flour and continue to chill the dough. If the dough gets really soft, freeze the whole sheet for 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake cookies 8 to 11 minutes or until the edges are set- do not overbake. Cool cookies on sheets 2 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
- Decorate with royal icing once cooled! (The recipe I used is linked below!)
The Royal Icing Recipe I used is from Bake at 350. :)