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These Gingerbread Men Cookies are spiced perfectly, have slightly crisp edges and soft centers. Decorated with a simple icing to make them adorable, fun and delightfully sweet.
The Christmas Cookie baking continues with these adorable and tasty Gingerbread Men and Ladies. These cookies are very popular with the kiddos at all our family gatherings. May I remind you that there are a lot of kiddos at most of our family gatherings, so it's safe to say that this Gingerbread Cookie recipe is a keeper.
This post was originally posted on 12/02/2015 and updated on 12/09/2020
Gingerbread Men Cookie Ingredients
- Salted Butter
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- Ground Ginger
- All Spice
- Powdered Sugar
- Meringue Powder
How to Make Perfect Gingerbread Men Cookies
Step 1: Make the Dough
In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda, spices, and flour. In a stand mixer or with a hand beater, cream together butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses followed by the egg and water. Next add the flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing to just combine it all.
Step 2: Chill the Dough
Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to a day.
Step 3: Roll and Cut Shapes
Remove dough from fridge and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out to ⅛ inch thickness. Using your cookie cutter, cut cookies and then place on a lightly greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Keep repeating and cutting dough while the cookies are baking.
Step 4: Bake Cookies
Bake cookies in a 350° oven for 7-9 minutes. Let cookies cool on pan for 2 minutes and then remove to wire rack or counter to cool completely.
Step 5: Decorate
There are two options I like for decorating. A simple glaze or royal icing. Both are easy to make and use. The glaze will have a more clear white look, whereas the royal icing will be bright white.
Glaze or Royal Icing for Gingerbread Cookies
To make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar and water. Add the glaze to a piping bag or zip top bag and decorate as desired. Get creative and use candy sprinkles, candy coated chocolates and so on. Let the cookies relax until the glaze has hardened.
To make the royal icing: Using a stand mixer or hand beaters, whisk together powdered sugar, meringue powder and water on high speed for about 2 minutes. The royal icing should slowly drizzle off the whisk and blend smoothly back into the bowl. If the icing is too thick, add a touch more water and if the icing is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. Add icing to piping or zip top bag and decorate as desired.
Other Gingerbread Variations
Gingerbread Men are traditional, but you don't have to use just that cookie cutter. The dough is perfect for any shape! You could do scalloped circles and sandwich the cookies with the icing, that would be delish. You could also do reindeer shapes, because let's be honest, brown icing just isn't very appealing. At least I haven't mastered a brown icing that looks appetizing. You could also make this recipe into ginger snaps. Simply roll the dough into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar, flatten with a glass and bake! This Gingerbread Men recipe is a very versatile one and an irresistible one too! Get in the kitchen and then tell me what you think!
How to Store and Freeze Gingerbread Men Cookies
Store cooled and decorated cookies in an air tight container between layers of wax paper on the counter away from heat for 4-5 days. If the cookies are starting to dry out you can add a slice of bread to the container.
These cookies freeze well, add cookies to a freezer safe air tight container between layers of wax paper. Cookies will last 3-4 months in the freezer. To thaw, let cookies thaw a few hours on the counter.
More Holiday Cookie Inspiration!
- Frosted Pumpkin Drops
- Peanut Butter Temptation Cookies
- Italian Almond Cookies
- Sugar Cookie Cuts Outs
- Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Drops
- Spritz Butter Cookies
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
A fun, festive, and adorable holiday cookie is exactly what these delicious Gingerbread Men Cookies are. Give these cute cookies a try and let me know how you and the family loved them in the comments below! Pictures encouraged on Instagram with the hashtag #heathershomemadekitchen You can also follow me on Social Media to see what other crazy things my family and I are doing! If you like what you see, please share with your friends and family!
Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later!
Gingerbread Men Cookies
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2⅔ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon all spice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons water
- assorted sprinkles and candies for decorating
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 10 tablespoons water
- Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and whisk together.
- In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with hand beater, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the molasses and beat well.
- Add egg and water and beat well.
- Gradually add flour mixture a little at a time, mixing just until combined.
- Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to ⅛ inch thickness.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut dough and place cookies 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
- Bake 7-9 minutes.
- Cool 1-2 minutes on baking sheet and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- Once cooled, whisk together powdered sugar and water until desired consistency.
- Place icing in a piping bag or plastic zip top bag and outline gingerbread men and decorate as desired.
- Let cookies rest until icing is set, store in air tight container, lining layers of cookies with wax paper.
- With a stand mixer or hand beater, whisk together the powdered sugar, meringue powder and water on high speed for about 2 minutes.
- The icing should slowly drizzle off the whisk and blend back together. If the icing is too thick add a touch more water, if it is too thin add a bit more powdered sugar.
- Add icing to piping or zip top bag and decorate cookies as desired.
- Let icing dry and harden for at least 2 hours. Store cookies in air tight container between layers of wax paper.
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