Decorating gingerbread cookies has become a Christmas tradition in our house. We like to hang the decorated cookies on our Christmas tree… they smell great for weeks! It is important to chill this cookie dough to ensure the cookies hold their shape while baking. I’ve included my recipe for royal icing below… but you can decorate these cookies with fondant as well. If you plan on using the cookies as tree ornaments don’t forget to make a small hole in the cookies to string them on your tree… and bake the cookies for one or two extra minutes so they’re not too soft.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups molasses
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp meringue powder
- 8-10 tbsp water, at room temperature
- a few drops of food colouring (optional)
- sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about two minutes.
- Next, add the egg and beat until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and molasses and beat until combined.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add in the spices and salt. Slowly add in the baking soda and flour. Mix until fully incorporated. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- Roll out cookies on a well-floured surface and place on prepared pans. Chill entire cookie pan for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before decorating with royal icing or fondant.
- For the royal icing: in a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the royal icing. You can add a few drops of food colouring to the icing, if desired. Mix until smooth. If you want a thicker icing, add more powdered sugar, if you’d like a thinner consistency, add a bit more water. Use an offset spatula to spread icing on cooled cookies. Decorate with sprinkles. Allow icing to set for at least one hour before serving.