These gingerbread cookies are the perfect holiday treat. With tons of spices every bite of these lovely soft cookies will make a perfect compliment to coffee, for a perfect after dinner treat.
These are one of my favorite cookies for the holidays. I mean I do make them other times of year but there is something special once the holidays roll around. These are the perfect to make with the entire family and can be decorated all kinds of ways. These are the best cookies to eat while wrapping gifts, decorating the house, or just chilling and listening to your favorite holiday music. I promise you they will disappear quickly from kitchen.
In this recipe
Like my spiced molasses cookies there a little bit of pepper in these and a whole lotta ginger. Both of these are essential to this cookie recipe.
Black pepper: With all of the rest of the warming spices the pepper adds additional depth to dish and a little extra kick.
Ginger: There is a whole tablespoon of ginger in here. Yes I know that it sounds like a lot however this will give these cookies their wonderful ginger flavor.
Molasses: For this recipe you want to use an unsulphured molasses. Also you don’t want to use blackstrap as it will be too bitter and will ruin the cookies.
Making the batter
One of the most important things for this recipe is to make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature. This takes care of several things at once. The first is to make sure that everything mixes well and evenly. You want to have a well mixed and even batter, this will keep the cookies uniform. Secondly it will keep the batter from breaking before adding the dry ingredients. Breaking is when the mixture looks curdled and this will happen when the butter and other ingredients aren’t at the same temperature causing the warmer butter to seize.
Keep it cool
Once you roll the dough into a ball you will want to cool it down. This helps the gluten relax so that it isn’t too tough and you get a nice soft cookie. The longer that the dough can sit in the refrigerator the more intense the flavors will be. The resting time allows the flavors to develop more intensely. If you want to kick up the flavors even more then toast the spices before you add them to the flour and allow the dough to rest overnight. Cold dough is also easier to cut than warm dough.
Baking the gingerbread cookies
Baking soda is added to these cookies. It will do a couple of things. The first one is that it will make the cookies spread a little and the second is that it helps keep them soft. With that in mind you will want to make sure you allow a little space between the cookies and not pack the baking sheet. Also you want to make sure you take them out before the the edges start to darken more then the rest of the cookie. That keeps the entire cookie soft and prevents the cookies from getting bitter.
Looking for other ginger recipes?
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Stand Mixer with paddle and whisk attachments
- Cooke cutter or stencil of choice
- Rolling Pin
- Cling film
- 2 Sheet pan
- Silicon mats or parchment paper
Gingerbread cookie dough
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- ¾ cups butter unsalted, softened
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar packed
- ⅔ cup molasses unsulphured and not blackstrap
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper finely ground
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1¾ cup powdered sugar sifted
- 1 egg white 1 tablespoon egg white powder and 2 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- In a mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and baking soda and whisk until completely combined. Set aside.
- In an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium high speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Next add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Then add the egg and beat until evenly incorporated scraping down the bowl frequently. Add the molasses and mix until completely combined. The batter should be smooth.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the flour. Mix until all of the flour has been just incorporated and then stop. Do not overmix.
- Place the gingerbread dough on cling film shape into a ball and wrap. Flatten into a disk. Refrigerate for at least an hour but can be refrigerated over night.
- Allow the dough to sit out at room temperature for at least 5 minutes so the dough can roll a bit easier. Lightly flour the counter, or parchment paper and roll out the dough to the desired thickness, about 1/8 inch.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes, or place a stencil over the dough and use a knife to cut into desired shapes. If the dough is too warm pop it back in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, 177°C or gas mark 4.
- Transfer 9 cookies onto a parchment or silicon lined sheet pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven before the edges start to darken.
- Allow to cool at least 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough.
- If using egg whites then in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and lemon juice together adding the sifted powder sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. If using powdered egg whites in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the powder, water, and lemon juice. Then add the powdered sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency and if it is too stiff add an additional teaspoon of water until the desired consistency is reached. Place the icing in a piping bag to help prevent it from hardening.
- Decorate the cooled cookies as desired. Depending on the texture and amount of the icing used it may take several hours for it to completely harden.