Today marks the kick-off of the “12 Days of Christmas” series on my blog! For the next 12 days, up until Christmas, I will be posting a holiday cookie recipe daily. There are some very traditional cookies that I have planned and some that are completely different than what you would normally expect. Moreover, all these cookie recipes are delicious and are fun to make this holiday season with your friends and family. Heck, I baked 12+ dozen cookies by myself for this series and I had a blast doing it!
A Traditional Holiday Cookie
For the first day of Christmas, I am posting a traditional cookie recipe that many of you already know and love—Gingerbread Cookies! Gingerbread cookies are a staple during the holiday season. You can be very creative with these cookies by either making any gingerbread cut-out cookie you want or even making a gingerbread house! Plus, you can get even more creative by decorating them with icing and candy. The possibilities are truly endless!
The Perfect Cookie for Decorating
This Gingerbread Cookie recipe is a fantastic basic recipe that you will get many compliments on. The cookies are not too soft and not too hard and they just have the right amount of spice. Additionally, these cookies do not expand too much once baked. This is great if you are making cut-out cookies since the cookie will maintain its shape. It is even more important when making gingerbread houses- you need to get those dimensions correct or else your house won’t fit together 😛
Then most important step when making Gingerbread Cookies is to chill the cookie dough before rolling it out. Chilling the dough allows the gluten in the dough to relax and for the butter to set up. This makes it much easier to roll out and will yield a softer, more tender cookie. Based on my experience, rolling out soft and warm cookie dough doesn’t work out very well. You will use way too much flour to roll them out and it will change the texture of the cookies. So-moral of the story- always chill your cookie dough before rolling out the cookies. This is not only true for Gingerbread Cookies, but any cut-out cookie recipe.
Get the Recipe!
Classic Gingerbread Cookies
For the Cookie Dough:
- ¼ cup salted butter at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling out the cookies
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
For the Icing:
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and molasses together until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix until well combined.
- Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and baking power into the butter mixture. Beat until well combined.
- Split the dough in half and shape each half into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle your counter or work surface lightly with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll out the first disc of dough to be 5 mm thick. Use a cookie cutter dusted in flour to cut out your cookies and then place them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Leave at least 3 cm between each cookie to let them slightly expand as they bake.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until the bottoms have become browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- You can roll out the leftover dough 2-3 more times to get more cookies.
- To decorate the cookies, whisk the icing sugar and water in a small bowl until completely smooth. The icing should be stiff, but will spread out a little bit. To test the icing, place a small amount of icing on a piece of parchment paper and see if it spreads. Add more icing sugar if it spreads out too much for your liking, or add more water if it is too stiff.
- To assemble, scoop the icing into a piping bag that is fitted with a small round tip and decorate your cookies as desired. Allow the cookies to dry for at least an hour before you pack them away.
- Store these in a air-tight tin for up to a week or freeze for up to two months. Enjoy!