These Gingerbread Men cookies are a holiday classic cookie. They’re perfectly spiced with molasses, ginger, and cinnamon cookies, with crispy edges, soft and chewy, centers. They’re delicious to eat on their own, and so fun to decorate.
I love ginger cookies around the holidays, but until this year I had never made my own gingerbread men cookies. I usually go for my super soft white chocolate dipped ginger cookies, or our gingerdoodle cookies. But these gingerbread men are winners too!
These gingerbread cookies have the best flavor in every bite. They have the perfect amount of molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and a couple other holiday spices to give these cookies the perfect spice!
The cookies are also not too hard and crunchy, like some gingerbread men, or gingersnap cookies? I don’t know about you guys – but I like crispy edges on cookies, but I don’t want the whole thing to snap when I bite into it. These cookies have nice crispy edges, but are soft in the middle. The perfect combination.
Gingerbread men cookies are a Christmas cookie classic. It’s so fun to (and messy) to have my kids help me make a batch of little gingerbread men, and then after they’re baked and cooled, to decorate the top of them however we want.
You can also use any of your favorite cookie cutters to shape these cookies. I love adding some snowflakes and Christmas trees to my gingerbread men, personally. But some hearts, stars, or whatever you have on hand works great! Just remember different sized cookies will bake up a bit differently and need more or less baking time.
How to make gingerbread cookies?
In a large mixing bowl, beat together your butter and brown sugar until nice and creamy. Add in the molasses and stir it in. Then add in the egg and vanilla extract and stir it all together.
In another bowl combine all your dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Slowly add the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients while mixing until you have a nice soft dough.
Divide the dough into 2 sections and roll them into balls, then flatten them into thick disks. Wrap them in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. I often make the dough and chill it overnight to bake the cookies the next day.
Flour your counter top generously, or whatever your working surface is. You don’t want the dough caked in flour, but you want enough to keep it from sticking. And add more flour to your hands and the rolling pin as needed too. Roll out the dough to be 1/4 inch thick. Then use your cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. I used gingerbread men, snowflakes, and Christmas trees.
Carefully transfer the cookie dough shapes to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, or a silicon liner and bake them in the preheated oven. They should bake in about 8-10 minutes, mine took 8.5 minutes, but bigger shapes will take a little longer. You’ll know the cookies are done when the edges look done, and the top looks set too. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool more.
Whisk all the ingredients needed together for your frosting. Add a little more powdered sugar, 1 TBS at a time as needed if the icing is too thin. Add a little more milk, 1/2 TBS, or 1 tsp at a time if your icing is too thick. Scoop it into a piping bag or ziplock bag, and carefully decorate the cookies however you want with the icing.
You can tint your icing with a little food coloring, or use it to stick some cute sprinkles (or gum drops) on to your gingerbread men.
Tips for making gingerbread men cookies?
- Do not skip chilling the dough. The dough is soft, and needs to chill for at least 3 or 4 hours, or else it will be so sticky to work with and your cookies won’t hold their shape.
- Use lots of flour when rolling the cookie dough out. Dust the surface, your hands, the rolling pin, etc. as the dough may become sticky as you roll it out. This will hopefully keep the dough from sticking to your work surface. And any extra flour will bake off the tops of the cookies in the oven.
- Watch the cookies closely as they bake. Different sized cookie cutters will need longer or shorter baking times. If your cookies are larger they may take 11-12 minutes to bake, if they are smaller, they may only take 7 or 8 minutes. Mine took 8 to 9 minutes. The thickness of the cookie dough will also effect how long it takes your cookies to bake. The cookies will be done when the cookies start to look set and the edges start to turn a darker color of brown. Be sure to let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack so the little men don’t break!
- PS. This cookie dough is not sturdy enough to use for making gingerbread houses.
How to store gingerbread cookies?
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, for 5 or 6 days. Though the texture of the cookies is better the fresher they are, the cookies loose a bit of the crunchy edges as time goes on.
These gingerbread cookies are perfectly spiced, and so delicious. They’ve got slightly crispy edges, chewy centers, are so yummy, and so adorable!
They’re such a fun and tasty holiday cookie and they would be so perfect for any Christmas cookie plate!
Looking for more Christmas Cookie Recipes?
- Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Christmas tree Sugar Cookies
- Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
- White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Reindeer Cookies
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- 12 TBS unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks, softened)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 TBS ground ginger
- 1 TBS ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
For the Icing:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 TBS milk
- 2-4 TBS corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Gingerbread Cookies:
- In a large bowl add your butter and brown sugar. Cream them together till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the molasses, and stir it into the butter sugar mixture.
- Add in the egg and vanilla extract and stir till it's just combined.
- In another large bowl, add your flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Whisk them together.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The dough will still be sticky.
- Divide the dough into 2 sections. Shape them into a thick disk. Place them each on a piece of plastic wrap and wrap them up.
- Place the dough in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours, up to 3 days. I usually chill it overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 farenheit. Line a couple large cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
- Flour a work surface, and remove one of your dough disks from the fridge. Flour your rolling pin and hands. Roll out the cookie dough until it is about 1/4inch thick.
- Cut the dough into shapes, and carefully transfer them to the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on their size. Until the edges look done, and the middle is set.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to continue cooling.
- Once the cookies are cooled, decorate them as desired. Below is the icing recipe I used. You can also tint the icing with food coloring, and use it to place on sprinkles.
For the Easy Royal Icing:
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium to large bowl. If your icing is too thin add in more powdered sugar, if it is too thick add in a little more milk. (You want it thick enough to pipe and hold it's shape pretty well)
- Carefully scoop the icing into a piping bag or ziplock bag (and snip the corner off), and pipe the icing in desired patterns onto the cookies.