A plate of soft gingerbread cookies - these are perfectly spiced and the best gingerbread cookies around.
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Soft Gingerbread Cookies

These soft gingerbread cookies are a must for the holidays. They're perfectly spiced with soft centers and the perfect gingerbread taste. The best gingerbread men I've ever tried!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Christmas Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling 4 hours
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 35 cookies*
Author Fiona Dowling

Ingredients

Gingerbread Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup molasses

Royal Icing

  • 2 large egg whites or 3 tablespoons meringue powder & 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Buttercream Icing

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream

Instructions

Gingerbread Cookies

  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda & salt.
  • In a large bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, followed by the molasses.
  • With the mixer on low speed, mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture about 1/2 at a time.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Form each into a round, flat disc shape, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Take one disc out of the fridge at a time to work with. Let it warm up for 10 minutes at room temperature before rolling.
  • Flour your kitchen counter & rolling pin. Then unwrap the disc of dough and sprinkle flour on both sides of it. Roll out to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes.
  • Transfer cookies to the lined baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops look just set.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough, being careful not to re-roll the dough too many times.

Royal Icing

  • Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy (if using egg whites). 
  • Add the lemon juice and 3 cups of powdered sugar to the bowl (plus the water & meringue powder if using). 
  • Beat for a full 5 minutes, adding in a little more powdered sugar or water if needed.
  • Transfer to a piping bag and decorate the cookies.

Buttercream Icing

  • Beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
  • Add in the vanilla extract, then beat in the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time until the desired sweetness is reached. 
  • Mix in the milk/cream 1 tablespoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached, adding a little more powdered sugar as necessary.
  • Transfer to a piping bag to decorate, or frost with a knife.