Prep2 hrs 15 mins
This is my very favorite gingerbread cookie recipe. The dough is so firm and nice to work with and is so wonderful smelling that it is almost like a stress reliever. These disappear in lightning speed in my house! This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the Joy of Cooking and according to the entry they only have 3 grams of fat per cookie! If you want crisp cookies roll out very thin. Thicker cookies = softer cookies, thinner cookies= crisper cookies. If the dough is too sticky, chilling should help. **I noticed a lot of people have been having some sticky dough issues. You need to make sure you let the dough rest at LEAST two hours. For some reason this helps make the dough more workable. I live in FL and we have terrible humidity, but I have never had a problem with sticky dough in this recipe.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 3⁄4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3⁄4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
- In a large bowl (KitchenAid's great for this) beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.
- Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.
- Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
- Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 deg. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
- (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) Preheat oven to 375°.
- Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.
- Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.
- Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
- Cut out cookies with desired cutter-- the ginger bread man is our favorite of course.
- Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies-- very good!).
- Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
- After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
- I usually brush them with a powdered sugar glaze when I am in a hurry, but they look wonderful decorated with Royal icing.
I followed it to the letter and no need to reduce the flour at all (I HARDLY TOUCHED THE DOUGH! ) thanks to THE BEST HINT i read from another user on food.com (either on this recipe or another one i am not sure):
*ROLL THE CHILLED DOUGH BETWEEN WAXED PAPER
*TAKE OFF THE TOP PAPER and CUT OUT THE SHAPES (puzzle like) WITHOUT MOVING OR HANDLING THE DOUGH AT ALL
*~PUT THE PAPER & DOUGH ON A BAKING SHEET IN THE FREEZER
*TAKE OUT AFTER 10 min AND THE SHAPES ARE SO EASY TO REMOVE WO BREAKING! ONTO A BAKING SHEET STRAIGHT INTO THE OVEN!
I did all kind of shapes even the mini stars came out perfect!! The taste was delicious!!
Many thanks for sharing this recipe!
This is a great recipe for gingerbread cookie lovers; great ginger taste (a tablespoon had me sneezing for about a minute) which is the main reason why it gets my 4 stars. However on the second batch of cookie dough I did a little tinkering. The first batch I followed the recipe to the letter, but I think there is an issue of word usage in the directions. It says after adding the last bit of the dry ingredients to mix until dough is smooth. This dough will not be smooth but more like pie crust, so make sure you mix until well incorporated. It will be pretty much a heavy chunk of heavenly smelling dough that can easily divided to chill. Also with as much ginger this recipe calls for, keep in mind even after baking these cookies will have a strong ginger flavor which is great for gingerbread cookie lovers like myself, but be prepared for the non-fans. A nice coating of Royal Icing can help in this regaurd, or the traditional raisins. My second batch I reduced the amount of flour to 2 1/2 cups, and reduced the ginger by half. Since gingerbread is used for cut out cookies there is the risk of the dough becoming tough using the dusting of flour to keep it from sticking. There is already quite a bit of flour in the dough itself so you will need even less flour dusting than say with sugar cookie dough, however after repeated dusting and handling, reducing the cooking time won't help having a rather hard cookie after cooling. Using a half cup less flour there is room for dusting and handling no problem, but make sure you chill at the very least 3-4 hours and keep dough you're not using in the frige. Reducing the amount of ginger by half gives the cookie a more mild ginger flavor which appeals to children far better as well as those finicky "big kids" who want a more sweet cookie. Otherwise it's a great recipe for a traditional Christmas cookie making it well worth your time and love.
This recipe helped me through my first gingerbread cookie attempt, and even with the gluten free and vegan substitutions I made (Pamela's gluten-free baking mix for wheat flour, EarthBalance for butter, and Ener-G egg replacer for the egg), it was a definite winner! Perhaps it was the gluten-free flour I was using, but I had no problems with sticky dough, even though I waited less than two hours to prepare the cookies. The cookies came out soft, with perfectly puffed edges and crisp, golden bottoms.