Gingerbread cookies are just about always on the Christmas desserts display. Whether you make traditional gingerbread shapes or go with a more general holiday theme of trees, snowmen and angels, you cannot go wrong. Kids and adults alike will eat these up in a heartbeat. The icing can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container with a moist papertowel on top. You can use an icing bag to decorate the cookies.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground all-spice
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp fresh black pepper
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 large egg
Royal Icing Ingredients:
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tbsp dried egg white powder
- 6 Tbsp water
- Place the backing racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, all-spice, cloves, salt and pepper through a sieve into a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until well combined.
- Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, roughly 2 minutes.
- Beat in the molasses and the egg.
- Gradually mix in the flour with a wooden spoon, making a stiff dough.
- Divide the dough into two disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
- Remove one disk of dough and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out until the dough is 1/8 inch thick.
- Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and place on nonstick baking sheets, spacing the cookies 1 inch apart from each other. (NOTE: The scraps of dough can be kneaded together into a smaller disk and rechilled for more cookies.)
- Bake the cookies at 350 degrees, moving the cookies from top to bottom rack and front to back halfway through.
- Bake until the edges are set and crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- Cool completely before decorating with royal icing.
Royal Icing Directions:
- In a medium bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar, egg white powder and water with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.
- Increase the speed to high and beat, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently.
- Continue to beat until the icing is stiff, shiny and thick, about 3 to 5 minutes.