Friday, December 12, 2014

old-fashioned gingerbread cookies

I love gingerbread! 
Whether it's a moist gingerbread loaf, tender cookies, or gingerbread holiday bars . . . there's just nothing that says "It's the holidays!" like gingerbread! 

I bake 9-inch TALL Gingerbread Cookies for my niece and nephews every year. I make extras for my little ones and friends, too.  

It's a simple, yet special, tradition that not only fills my house with the warm smell gingerbread, but these cute cookies bring smiles too! 

I've researched and sampled gingerbread cookie recipes over the years, and THIS ONE is my absolute favorite! It yields a very flavorful cookie that is moist and tender. They are incredibly delicious (and addicting)!  

For ease and good flavor, I decorate them with Almond Bark. I think white and vanilla chocolate are a wonderful compliment to gingerbread cookies!

So grab your holiday sprinkles and rolling pin . . . and bake a few Gingerbread Girls & Boys this holiday season! 

gingerbread cookies
bakes 10-20 cookies depending on size of cookie cutter
.     .     .     .     .     .
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses
6 small blocks of Almond Bark, melted (found in the baking section of your local market)
.     .     .     .     .     .

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Reduce speed to low. 

Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Divide dough into 3 portions, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.
Cut out desired shapes. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.
Bake cookies for 12 minutes. 

Cookie TIPS . . . 
You'll notice that the cookies will be puffy when you take them out of the oven, but they will deflate a little as they cool. 

If you desire a flatter Gingerbread Cookie, then remove sheets from oven, and tap them firmly on counter to flatten the cookies. Return to oven, rotating sheets, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 4 to 6 minutes more. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Follow melting directions on the Almond Bark package, and spoon into a Wilton squeeze bottle, or spoon melted white candy into a pastry bag with a very small plain round tip (such as Ateco #0 or #1) to pipe designs onto the cookies.  You can also use a Ziploc bag. Let cookies stand at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

Here are a few of them 
wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with ribbon . . .

 Happy holiday baking!

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  1. These are gorgeous! I've never heard of 9" cookies before...I'm going to be looking for some big cookie cutters so that I can try these. They are just so pretty wrapped in the clear bags.

  2. Your gingerbread people look very happy! I will be on the hunt for these large cutters also. The greenery and cranberries make for a perfect presentation. Oh to be at your house for the holidays!

  3. Your cookies look absolutely adorable. Almost too cute to eat! I love the way you wrapped them up. They make such sweet gifts.

  4. I've been hunting for a good gingerbread cookie recipe. This one looks delicious. And the decorations with almond bark sounds tasty and they look very beautiful too. Will this recipe work with smaller cookie cutters?

  5. I love how plump your gingerbread people are. Thanks for taking time to share your researched recipe. Pinning and planning to make these. Yumm!!!!

    Thanks so much Suzanne for sharing your recipe and lovely cookies with us at Project Inspire{d}! I can smell them...Mmmmm.

  6. Wow! These are fantastic. Gingerbread is one of my favorite cookies... and the cute factor makes it even better! (Stopping by from Teach Me Tuesday.)

  7. Would you believe I've never made a gingerbread anything? Sad, but true. I love that it's a tradition to give them every year. They'll remember it forever.

  8. I simply do not do Christmas without gingerbread men! They are yummy and look cute. I love your designs, these gingerbread men have a cheeky look about them.

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday at Smart Party Planning.

    1. These cookies are awesome. Our readers loved them and they will be featured at next week's party :-)

  9. I love gingerbread cookies and yours looks really yummy and beautiful. Thank you so much for linking it up to Wonderful Wednesday blog hop. I pinned it on our Wonderful Wed. Blog Hop page.

    Diane Roark

  10. I am eating gingerbread cookies as I read this post :). They are one of my favorite fall/holiday treats too. I love that you make 9 INCH cookies for your family. Oversized treats are extra special, and I'm sure they are excited to receive those every year. Fun, fun!

  11. I love them too...yours are so cute wrapped up and tied as a gift ! :)

  12. I think I can smell the gingerbread!! What a cute little gift tied up with a bow! Very sweet treat to give away during the holidays. Stoppin by from Simple and Sweet Friday

  13. Darling! And I know they taste as good as they look! Thanks for linking to Show Me Saturday.

  14. These are so cute! I'm making some gingerbread this weekend as well. Thanks for sharing on Weekend bites

  15. Just love the way you displayed these cute little works of art! Pinned! Hey, this post was one of the most popular on our last Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop on Ducks 'n a Row. It will be featured this week. Hope to see you there!

  16. Anonymous12:02 PM

    Absolutely wonderful Suzanne, they are so perfect for Christmas. I shall pin these for this year. I'm opening the link party early this week to make up for missing last weeks, so be sure to stop by and link up at the earlier time of Saturday 8am UK time. Happy New Year! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

  17. These cookies are so beautiful! I love the simplicity of their decorations, but the addition of the sparkles is just perfect. I have been looking for the perfect ginger bread cookie recipe, and this looks like the one! Thanks so much for sharing at On Display Thursday. Join us again tomorrow morning! :)
    -Leia @ Eat It & Say Yum


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