Cookstr.com

Gingerbread People

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Gingerbread people are virtually required for the holiday season, and they are easy to make. If children help, it is great fun. The ideal dough is soft enough to roll out, yet stiff enough to hold the forms, resulting in finished cookies that are moist but not crumbly. Decorate with currants, cranberries, candies, frosting, and confectioners’ sugar.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert, snack

Mealkid snack, tea

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturefruity, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishcookie

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon plus ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup light molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup milk
  • Dried currants, red-hots, fresh or dried cranberries, and silver dragées for decorating
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Milk
  • Food coloring as needed
  • Silver dragées (optional)
  • Colored sugars (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350° F. Using the 1 teaspoon butter, grease a large baking sheet.

  2. In a large bowl, beat the ½ cup butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses until well blended. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.

  3. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well blended. Beat in about ¼ cup milk, then add the remaining flour mixture, beating it in well. The dough will be very stiff. If it is too stiff and crumbly to roll out, add tablespoon of additional milk.

  4. On a well-floured work surface, roll the dough out to a thickness of about ½ inch, then cut into shapes using cookie cutters or by tracing with a knife around cardboard cutouts. Transfer the shapes to the prepared pan.

  5. Decorate the gingerbread people with currant eyes and red-hots for buttons, pressing them into the dough before baking, or attach them with frosting after baking.

  6. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and spring back when pushed with your finger. Transfer the cookies from the pan to a wire rack to cool. Decorate with the frosting as desired.

  7. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar and milk and stir until a stiff but spreadable paste forms. (It may seem overly stiff, but too much milk will make an unworkable frosting. If it is necessary to add more milk, do so only ½ teaspoon at a time.)

  8. Divide the frosting among separate bowls and mix in food coloring as desired. Frost the cookies while they are warm or cool. If the cookies are warm, the frosting will spread more easily.

  9. Add decorative silver dragées and colored sugars (if desired) before the frosting dries.

YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED RECIPES

Reviews

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Close

Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Facebook
Google
Twitter
OR
Sign In using Email and Password