"I thought maybe we could make gingerbread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating and maybe even hold hands." --Buddy the elf
When I think of Christmas cookies…gingerbread is what comes to mind. The warm, comforting smell of sweet cinnamon and molasses takes me straight to holiday mode. These gingerbread cookies are crispy on the edges but stay soft in the centre. There are no leaveners (such as baking powder or baking soda) in these cookies because we want them to retain their shape and sharp edges while they bake. Decorating gingerbread cookies is a great activity to do with the kids…and gingerbread cookies make delicious smelling ornaments for your tree. Don’t forget to punch a small hole in your cookies before baking if you want to hang them on your tree!
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups molasses
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 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 eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the molasses and beat until combined.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add in the spices and salt. Slowly add in the flour. Mix until fully incorporated. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- Roll out cookies on a well-floured surface and use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes. Place cookies on prepared pans.
- Bake for 11 minutes. Do not overbake if you want them to stay soft in the centre! 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!
*Yield: approximately 25-30 cookies.