These Gingerbread Cookies are everything! They have the perfect crunch with that all-important chew, a nice kick of spice and are decorated with a simple two ingredient icing and M&M’s. Does it get any cuter? I just LOVE gingerbread.
Last year I made an awesome gingerbread house but it looked so good that we just kept looking at it and forgot to eat it, so this year I am sticking to the gingerbread men. Honestly, these cookies are really easy and they turn out perfect every time. The dough can be rolled and cut into any shape you like – a great activity for the kids!
Without a doubt, one of my favourite Christmas treats is gingerbread! I can eat it by the handful and last year I posted my favourite Gingerbread Cookie recipe, both regular and chocolate. Then in a sad twist, I found out American’s don’t have access to one of the main ingredients – golden syrup! Wah!
As the resident ‘American’ foodie around here, I had to do something stat. Well, it’s been a year but finally I’m back with a new Gingerbread Cookie recipe, this time using (hopefully) all American friendly ingredients – woohoo!
These gorgeous cookies are made using molasses instead of golden syrup and I also adjusted the spices, as I found out ‘mixed spice’ is not necessarily available in other countries either. So with a little ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, I found just the right mix for a perfectly spiced Gingerbread Man.
Word to the wise, if you like quite a kick, pump up the ginger to a full tablespoon. I LOVE them like this but if you are sharing with the kids, take it down to half a tablespoon. Each to their own!
Spiced Gingerbread Cookies
Makes approximately 16 cookies
115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
135 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar
160 grams (1/2 cup) molasses
1 egg yolk
315 grams (2 and 1/4 cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 - 1 tablespoon ground ginger*
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
125 grams (1 cup) icing or powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoon warm water
Handful of red and green M&M's
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until combined. Add the molasses and the egg yolk. Beat again to form a creamy mixture. Sift in the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir using a wooden spoon until dough starts to come together. Sprinkle your bench with some extra flour and then knead the dough for a short time, just until it comes together to form a smooth ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (360 F). Line two cookie or oven trays with baking paper. Generously flour your bench and roll out your dough using a rolling pin. Dust your rolling pin as you go to prevent the dough from sticking. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and gently place the cookies onto the prepared trays. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Once the cookies are completely cool, place the icing sugar in a small bowl and add the water, one tablespoon at a time, and stir until it forms a smooth paste. Add the icing into a small disposable piping bag fitted with a small nozzle or use a plastic sandwich bag if you don't have a piping bag. Decorate your gingerbread men with icing and add a few M&M's on top. Leave each cookie for about 10 minutes for the icing to set.
*I like my gingerbread cookies on the spicy side so I add a tablespoon of ground ginger but if you are sharing with the kids, I recommend just 1/2 tablespoon.