Classic Gingerbread cookies that are soft and chewy! Keep them simple or turn them into gingerbread hug cookies with a royal icing snowflake.
On every cookie platter, there are just certain cookies to be expected. And gingerbread cutout cookies I believe are of them. Made with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and molasses swirled in. Except this time, the gingerbread cookie is going to be the star of your cookie platter when you turn them into gingerbread hug cookie.
For these gingerbread cookies, I used King Arthur Flour’s gingerbread recipe. It’s an easy recipe because it uses melted butter. Holidays are stressful enough, right? Let’s skip softening butter and just straight up melt it. Then throw in some brown sugar, molasses, salt and spices.
You do need to let this mixture cool for a bit before you go adding your egg to the party. Because we are not trying to make holiday scrambled eggs here friend. If you are like me and planning ahead is not your forte, then you probably didn’t take your egg out ahead of time. Take the chill off quickly by throwing it in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes. Easy peasy. Moving on.
Now just a few more key ingredients and we’re good to go with this gingerbread dough. Just need your baking powder, baking soda, and your correctly measured flour. This dough does need to chill before you use it. It will be very soft and sticky at this point if you don’t. Do yourself a favor, and shape your dough into a rectangle so it’s in the correct shape to be rolled out later.
Wrap the 2 rectangles in dough. Chill in the fridge. You go chill on the couch for an hour. Perhaps watch a holiday classic movie. Ok movie over? Let’s get rolling…
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Tips on Rolling and Making These Gingerbread Cutout Cookies:
- Lightly flour your surface before rolling out your dough. I use and totally recommend using a non-stick pastry mat. It makes rolling out these cookies super duper easy. This is one of my must have baking tools.
- Work with one batch of dough at a time. Keep the second disc in the fridge so as not to warm up.
- I used these gingerbread cookie cutters to make these cookies. Super comfy grip for all those cookies you’re going to cut out.
- I added these royal icing snowflakes to turn them into gingerbread hug cookies. They come in a package of 12 – but this batch makes 36 cookies, so you will need 3 boxes of them for this batch of cookies.
- When you bend the arms to hold the snowflake, the dough might crack a bit but it’s fine. Just keep bending. Just keep bending.
- If your dough warms up too much, go and chill it again for a few minutes.
- Reduce your cookie waste, by cutting them out as close as possible with each other. You will have some scraps leftover and can do one re-roll. But it’s best to not to have to keep re-rolling your dough and handling it too much, because this will toughen your cookies in the end.
When these gingerbread cutout cookies come out of the oven, it’s time to decorate! You know after you let them cool of course. 😉
For the decorations, I piped on a simple smiley face and swirls on the arms and legs using a royal icing recipe. Royal icing is a thick powdered sugar icing made with meringue powder that will cause it to harden. I used Wilton meringue powder.
So grab a rolling pin, and let’s make the cutest gingerbread cutout cookies ever this year that make every other cookie on the platter jealous.
To make these gingerbread cutout cookies you will need:
- Cookie sheets – these are my favorite go to cookie sheets
- Parchment paper or silpat baking mats
- Snowflake Icing Decorations (you will need 3 packages)
- Meringue Powder
- Gingerbread Man Cookie cutter
- Dry measuring cups and spoons
- Metal mixing bowls
Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
For the cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup molasses I used Grandma's
- 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 36 Snowflake Icing Decoration
For the royal icing
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons warm water
- In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
- Whisk the baking powder and soda into the flour, and then stir these dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.
- Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Wrap well, and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. The dough may be sticky and hard to roll if not thoroughly chilled, so make sure it's cold before continuing.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Get out several baking sheets; there's no need to grease them, though lining with parchment saves effort on cleanup.
- Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface. Roll the dough 1/8" to 1/4" thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be. Flour both the top and bottom of the dough if it starts to stick. Alternatively, place the dough on parchment, and put a sheet of plastic wrap over it as you roll, pulling the plastic to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour.
- Cut out shapes with a floured gingerbread man cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
- Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets (or, if you've rolled right onto the parchment, remove the dough scraps between the cookies). Place a snowflake icing decoration in the center and fold the arms over the snowflake. Bake the cookies just until they're slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they're set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- For the royal icing: Beat all ingredients together until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer). If the mixture is too thick, thin out with a bit of water. Decorate the cookies with royal icing.
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