Classic Gingerbread Cookies

These classic gingerbread cookies are made from scratch and full of warm winter spices.  Fun, festive and perfect for the holidays!

Classic Gingerbread Cookies | lifemadesimplebakes.com

It isn’t Christmas without mom’s ginger cookies. They will forever be a tradition in our home. They’re crisp, chewy and bursting with molasses flavor. I could eat an entire batch all by myself… don’t judge. This year I’m trying to get ahead of the game by making/freezing all of my cookie dough. Come Christmas I want to be able to savor all of those sweet moments with my family instead being stuck in the kitchen washing a sink full of dirty dishes. Last week our three year old found my stash of cookie cutters and was totally enamored with the gingerbread men. We quickly got to work whipping up a batch of dough. We baked half and saved the rest for later.

Classic Gingerbread Cookies | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Here’s how to make these delicious gingerbread cookies:

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a large bowl and a hand mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until it’s light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and molasses, beat on medium high speed for 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla, beat on medium for 2 minutes. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. The dough will be soft and sticky, don’t worry! Divide the dough into two chunks. Place each portion of the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, flatten and seal. Now the important part: place it in the refrigerator to chill for 4 hours or overnight. DO NOT BAKE THE DOUGH unless you’ve chilled it first!!

Classic Gingerbread Cookies | lifemadesimplebakes.com

When you’re dough is read, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats; set aside. Generously flour your countertop. You’ll need extra flour for this particular recipe. Roll out one disc 1/4-inch thick (I made the cookies pictured here a bit thinner to my husband’s liking). Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Place the cookies 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll dough and repeat. Repeat the same process with the remaining disc of dough (or refrigerate it for up to 4 days or freeze for 2 months).

Classic Gingerbread Cookies | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the centers are soft, but baked. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. To make the icing, in a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, water, vanilla and salt. Add more water if needed to reach the desired consistency (soft but not too runny, thick but pipeable). Using a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, pipe desired decorations.

Classic Gingerbread Cookies | lifemadesimplebakes.com

We didn’t get overly fancy with the decorations. I kind of prefer to save that for sugar cookies. My little helper added a few sprinkles here and there and some cinnamon drop buttons- they were perfect. We had so much fun!

Classic Gingerbread Cookies | lifemadesimplebakes.com

We ate a few right away and enjoyed the rest throughout the week. They tasted just as delicious as the day we made them! These cookies will definitely be making an appearance again come Christmas. They’re simple, sweet and oh so cute :)

Classic Gingerbread Cookies | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Thanks to the Learning Tower, my sous chef was able to help me make and decorate these cookies. Whenever I’m in the kitchen, he’s always eager to get in on the action. The Original Learning Tower from Little Partners allows him (and my youngest) to be independent AND safe, while I prep, bake and cook. They absolutely love using it, and I love that they’re entertained and happy- it makes time spent in the kitchen fun for everyone!

It’s strong, sturdy and stays in place. It’s unique design allows it to stand flush against the counter and allows toddlers to climb in and out of it easily. The adjustable height on it makes it perfect for kids as young as 18 months and all the way up to six years old. We use The Original Learning Tower every single day. When it’s not breakfast, lunch or dinner we tuck it into the corner and the kiddos play on it & under it. It makes the perfect tower for kings & princesses. ???????? Little Partners offers several different finishes so that it will seamlessly blend into your kitchen. Sometimes I hardly notice it’s there! (p.s. code: LMS10 = 10% off your Little Partners purchase ????)

4.3 from 3 reviews
Classic Gingerbread Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These classic gingerbread cookies are made from scratch and full of warm winter spices. Fun, festive and perfect for the holidays!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ c. brown sugar, packed
  • ⅔ c. molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3⅓ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • pinch nutmeg

  • For the icing:
  • 1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 - 1½ tbsp. warm water, more if needed
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher sea salt
Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and molasses, beat on medium high speed for 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla, beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. The dough will be soft and sticky. Divide the dough into two chunks. Place each portion of dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, flatten and seal. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 4 hours or overnight (DO NOT bake the dough without chilling it first).
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats; set aside.
  4. Generously flour your countertop. Roll out one disc ¼-inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Place cookies 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll dough and repeat. Repeat the same process with the remaining disc of dough (or refrigerate it for up to 4 days or freeze for 2 months).
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the centers are soft, but baked. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the icing, in a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, water, vanilla and salt. Add more water if needed to reach the desired consistency (soft but not too runny, thick but pipeable). Using a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, pipe desired decorations. Allow the icing to set for 15 minutes before serving.
Notes
-My first batch (the one pictured above) cracked a bit. This was because it was a thinner batch that got cooked a bit longer- we live in a very dry climate and this is fairly common. Too much flour can also cause this. A sure fire way to prevent this from happening is to 1.) make sure they're rolled to the correct thickness 2.) don't use too much flour when rolling them out 3.) bake them for the proper amount of time 5.) place a roasting pan on the bottom rack of your oven, fill it with 4 cups of hot water, wait 10 minutes before placing your cookies on the rack above.
-You can divide the icing into small bowls and add a dab of gel food coloring to create different colors.
-Add candy or sprinkles if desired.
-Let the icing set for 30+ minutes before stacking,


Recipe source: inspired by allrecipes.com

I’m partnering with Little Partners to bring you today’s recipe, all opinions are my own. Thank you for helping me work with companies I love!