Classic Gingerbread Cookies to roll and cut out with your favorite cookie cutters!
The dough is flavored with the classic spices: ginger, cinnamon and clove. A little touch of orange zest makes them extra special!
I roll mine a little thicker and bake them a little less for a sturdy, yet easy-to-bite texture. Decorate with simple royal icing and let the cookie party begin!
Here’s my recipe for Royal Icing!
Classic Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for rolling
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter (salted) room temperature
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest optional
Royal Icing: (Makes about 2 1/2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons - 1/2 cup warm water
- In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger. cinnamon and cloves.
- Using electric mixer (I used my stand mixer fitted with flex edge beater.) Cream together butter and sugar for several minutes or until lightened in color and fluffy.
- Mix in molasses, then egg, vanilla and orange zest. (batter will look separated)
- Gradually mix in dry ingredients.
- Divide dough in half. Form each half into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or grease.
- Sprinkle a little flour on flat surface. Use floured rolling pin to roll disc of dough to 1/8 - 1/4-inch thickness (thicker cookies will stay softer when baked.) If dough cracks a lot, allow to warm-up for a few minutes.
- Use cookie cutters to cut the cookies, gently lift (a thin spatula is helpful here) and place on prepared baking sheet 2" apart.
- Return to refrigerator to chill again for 15-20 minutes. (This helps keep the cookie's shape while baking, if you don't have time, it isn't essential.)
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set and center is puffy. Let cool on baking sheet for a couple minutes then remove to cooling rack. (Bake a shorter time for softer cookies.)
- Store cookies in air-tight container in single layers separated by waxed paper. (You can freeze at this point. For 1-2 months.) To decorate, make royal icing and see tips below.
- Using electric mixer with whisk accessory, mix meringue powder, powdered sugar and half the warm water on low speed. Add more water to reach desired consistency. (I like mine a little thinner than ketchup.) Whip at medium/high speed until smooth. To color, use gel food coloring. (helps colors not run)
EVEN BAKING TIPS:
- Chill cut cookies before baking. (will help them keep their cut-out shape)
- Bake 1 sheet at a time on the lower-middle oven rack.
- If using dark colored baking sheets, reduce heat by 25 degrees.
- Make sure baking sheet is cool before adding next batch of cookies.
- You can make these a month or so in advance.
- When completely cool, arrange in air-tight container in single layers separated by waxed paper, then freeze.
- Decorate with icing after thawing.
- Meringue powder is used instead of raw egg whites. It is available in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Also available at craft store and online.
- I used a plastic disposable piping bag fit with a #2 round tip or a #14 star tip.
- If I'm only going to use one tip, I place it in the bag and cut a hole for the tip to poke part-way through.
- You'll need a coupler if you want to switch tips.
- It's helpful to place the empty piping bag in a tall jar or glass to fill with your icing.
- Securing the wide open end of your piping bag with a twist-tie helps keep the icing from squirting out the top of your piping bag.
- Piping is a 2-handed job. The hand by the tip "steers" and the hand on the top squeezes the icing.