I was originally hoping to get this post out before Christmas, but since I was making them fresh for Christmas it kind of ended up not happening for logistical reasons. But oh well. Better late than never right? Especially in the case of these yummy soft gingerbread cookies !
So backing up a little, I thought I should provide a wee bit of background: Despite not actually celebrating Christmas, every year I try to get a little something for my coworkers. Nothing crazy but just a little something to spread the merriness of the season. It does sometimes confuse people that on one hand I don’t celebrate Christmas, yet on the other hand I do the whole gift thing. My response is simple: Tis the Season! I love that it can brighten up people’s day, and, I mean, really, no one is complaining right? :)
But my problem this year is I joined a new team at work, and theres about 12 people on it. That made the logistics of buying gifts a bit more complicated. But not wanting to do nothing I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to show off some of my baking skills at work. I decided to make something Christmas-ey, and then it hit me - Gingerbread cookies!
Now I don’t know about you, but my ideal gingerbread cookie recipe consists of a soft chewy cookie filled with flavour. I have always hated those hard, crispy, break your tooth gingerbread men that were the only option at your local grocery store. This, my friends, is not that!
These soft gingerbread cookies are, well, very soft. Not too soft, in the “oh no! my cookie just crumbled in my hand cause it was too soft” sort of way. In fact the texture on the outside is pretty stiff and solid. But when you take a bite in to it, its very soft and not tooth break-ey. The great thing about these cookies are that they stay soft even a few days later (though you probably won’t have very many left!).
Decorating these soft gingerbread man? gingerbread men ? gingerbread cookies? whatever you wanna call them, is also super fun. Get some icing and candies and go to town. Since this was the first time I was going through the bother to decorate (this was a gift people, a messy piled on smear of icing wasn’t going to work here) I decided to make each of the cookies different which was lots of fun! I then finished it up by wrapping them up in some creepy looking but STILL FESTIVE baggies, and topping it off with ribbons. This was clearly a classy affair.
I would highly recommend them and they were a hit in the office, so if you are looking for a SOFT gingerbread man cookie recipe, this is the one people!
Soft Gingerbread Men Cookies
* 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (softened at room temp)
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup molasses
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 3/4 tsp salt
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp ground cloves
* 2 tsp ground ginger
* 5 cups flour
1. Mix your softened butter with brown sugar with a pair of beater or your kitchen aid mixer. Beat until its smooth.
2. Then add your 2 eggs to the mixture and mix some more until fully incorporated. Add the molasses and mix. Just a note here that I use Blackstrap which makes a darker cookie but you can do the normal kind too. I just prefer the richer taste of the Blackstrap.
3. In a separate bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together: baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and flour.
4. Add the dry ingredients to your wet mixture and mix until you get your dough! yay you’re done!
6. Before you can roll out your dough you need to refrigerate it for a few hours. I would recommend make a few disc shapes with it, and then wrapping it in plastic wrap, before putting in the fridge. This just makes for easy rolling later!
7. Once you're ready to make cookies, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
8. Once your dough is chilled roll it out on to a lightly floured surface and give it a few good kneads - this will make the dough work a lot better. Just be sure to not incorporate TOO MUCH flour. Then you just roll it out and cut out your cookies! For softer chewier cookies you want to go for 1/4-1/3 inch dough. The thicker the rolled out dough the softer the cookie.
9. On a parchment lined baking sheet, bake your cookies in your pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes. However, depending on how hot your oven runs, you might want to do 8. Our new oven made the cookies a bit dark at 10 minutes so use your discretion. Also, a hint, these cookies can be hard to figure out if they are cooked or not because they are so dark as it is. However, I do feel the cookies lighten up when they are done baking so there is that (which is weird when you think about it…cookie gets darker when they bake not lighter right?). I try to go on the side of slightly under cooked than slightly overcooked as it makes a softer cookie.
TIP* I refrigerated some of the dough (since when I was making them I was up till 2 am despite having work the next day ( #dedication ), and then about a week later I decided to make the cookies again and to my surprise they came out tasting EXACTLY the same! Awesome right? Just one thing I noticed is the cookies had a fewcracks on them that they didn’t have when I made them fresh. They weren’t a big deal, but I thought I should share. Also, it may just have been because I was too lazy to bother kneading the dough a few times again before rolling it out. SO do that if you choose to refrigerate the dough. And let this lazy girl know if it works out? ;)
P.S. Heres what happens when you are down to your last few cookies to decorate, you are running low on decorating ideas, and its 2 AM: