Aren’t they cute? I just love gingerbread men. It just doesn’t seem like Christmas until I make a batch of these bad boys. Actually they are really good. My little Hailey who doesn’t eat cookies, couldn’t stop eating them.
These are delicious right out of the oven, nice and soft and warm. If you would like to use them as Christmas ornaments cook them just a minute longer and punch a hole in the top of the head with a straw right after you take them out of the oven. After they cool, thread a ribbon or piece of string through the hole and tie a bow and you have a Christmas tree ornament that looks pretty and is edible.
Here are a few tips for making great looking gingerbread men.
Chill the dough. I sometimes skip this step in recipes because I want to get right to the goods, but this is important. If you chill the dough before rolling it not only makes picking them up easier, but the cookies don’t spread as much when you bake them, thus keeping their cute little figures.
Never place cookies on a warm cookie sheet. I have 2 or three cookie sheets that I rotate during the cooking process so they have a chance to cool down between batches. Cookie dough on a warm cookie sheet will start to melt and not hold their shape as well.
Generously flour the surface you are rolling the cookies out on. Nothing is more frusterating than rolling out the dough, cutting out the cookies and then not being able to pick them up without losing an arm or a leg.
Let them cool for a few minutes before trying to remove them from the cookie sheet. This should prevent them from breaking. Let them cool completely before trying to insert a ribbon and remember it is still a cookie so be careful when insterting the ribbon. The longer you let the cookies set out uncovered the sturdier they will be.
That’s about it. It realy isn’t too complicated.
You could also decorate with some royal icing if you are so inclined but I like the simplicity of them plain.
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 3 Tbsp. molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp. water or milk
- 3¼ cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1½ tsp. ginger
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cloves
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat sugar, butter and molasses.
- Mix egg with water in separate bowl then add to the sugar and butter mixture.
- Combine flour, baking soda and spices in a small bowl.
- Stir dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
- Chill 1 hour.
- Roll out on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Bake 6-10 minutes.
- Makes about 4 dozen gingerbread men.