DECEMBER IS FINALLY HERE! I can not even begin to explain to you all how much I freaking love December. I am not sure why, other than the fact that its my birthday month, December is a month of everything Holiday. I LOVE HOLIDAY EVERYTHING...oh and SANTA. To kick off the holidays I want to share my go to gingerbread cookie recipe because this is a staple in my home and the aroma will put even the grinchy-est person in a jolly a** mood.
I have been tweaking this recipe for some time now and for the past three years I have consistently gone back to this recipe. I love this particular recipe because the cookies DO NOT spread, and if you are going to decorate your cookies then that is a huge deal. Nobody wants to spend all that time cutting out the cookies to only have their gingerbread man looking like the Michelin man when they come out of the oven. NOT CUTE!
I also want to point out that I do not use Crisco for my cookies. A lot of recipes call for Crisco, which is shortening made of 100% vegetable oil. Shortening yields higher, lighter- textured baked good which is sometimes better than butter (so they say). Another difference is that butter naturally has water in it while shortening doesn't, it also has no dairy in it so if that is an issue for you then use shortening. I just don't understand all of that and I like butter so I used butter. If you wanted to use shortening instead, just substitute the same amount of shortening for butter.
These cookies can be made in advanced and stored in your fridge but chilling this dough is a BIG mistake. You can chill this dough if you aren't going to commit to making it right away, so if you do chill it, you must bring it back to room temperature before rolling and cutting.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, @room temp
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses (I use the Grandma's Original Molasses)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-4 tsp milk
Preheat the oven to 375 F
In a bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and the spices together. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar just intil well combined. You do not want them to get light and fluffly like you would a cake.
Add the egg, and mix until incorporated.
Add the molasses and vanilla an mix.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until your dough forms. If your dough is dry and crumbly , add 1 tsp of milk at a time until it comes together, but is not wet or sticky.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface. You can make them as thick as you like, I usually just do about 1/4" thick.
Once the dough is rolled out and flat, I always dunk my cookie cutters into some flour so that the edges come out nice and smooth.
Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 8-9 minutes. If you want a crunch to your cookies bake for 9-12 minutes until the sides get caramelized.
I left my gingerbread cookies "naked", meaning I did not decorate them with royal icing. But you totally can and there will be a blog post on that coming soon!
As always, if you made this recipe comment below or send me a message and let know what you think.