Sugar, spice, and everything nice—that’s what family memories are made of! This holiday season, gather the littles in the kitchen and bake up some family fun. These gingerbread cookies aren’t in the usual feminine and masculine forms. Instead of sporting arms and legs, they feature festive seasonal designs that are fun and easy to apply — just sprinkle powdered sugar over the included stencils!
Enlist the littles to help you bake the cookies. The older ones can handle gathering ingredients, measuring, and mixing. The little ones will have a great time rolling the dough balls into the sugar and pressing them down slightly with the bottom of a measuring cup (if you don’t feel comfortable with them using a glass).
Gingerbread cookies usually fall into two categories: chewy and crispy. These are the best of both worlds. The edges are perfectly crispy, while the middles stay slightly chewier. The usual trio of cinnamon, allspice, and ginger is, of course, in attendance, as well as a bit of molasses to bind it all together and provide the characteristic depth.
Crispy Gingerbread Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies
- 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat both sugars and butter until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the egg and beat until well mixed, about 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the molasses, mix well and scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
Add the dry ingredients, then mix on low until the dry ingredients are just incorporated into the wet. Avoid overmixing. The dough will be very soft. Refrigerate the dough for an hour or until firm enough to roll.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put ½ cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the sugar to coat.
Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart, then flatten slightly with your fingers or the bottom of a glass. Bake for 10-14 minutes until firm and golden on the outside and slightly soft on the inside.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: You’ll need a sieve or sifter to apply the powdered sugar designs to the cookies.
After you’ve baked the cookies and let them cool, download and print out our free powdered sugar stencils. Cut along the dotted lines and place each stencil in the middle of a cookie. Pour powdered sugar into a sieve or sifter. While holding the stencil still and making sure not to move it around on the cookie’s surface, gently shake the sifter or sieve back and forth to shower the cookie with powdered sugar. Gently lift up the stencil, and you’ll have a fun and festive powdered sugar shape on the surface of your cookie!