Gingerbread Men Sugar Cookies


It's time for Christmas cookies!! I am so excited to share some of the Christmas cookies I made this past weekend. I love making decorated cookies every year for the holidays, and gingerbread men are some of my favorite. Until recently, I just used store bought dough, icing, and sprinkles. Now I have graduated to the homemade dough and icing, and much more intricate designs. 

I didn't use actual gingerbread for these little guys, I used my favorite sugar cookie dough, then iced them with brown royal icing to give the effect they were gingerbread. But, you could make these same cookies with gingerbread and skip the brown icing.

To set your expectations accordingly, these cookies do take at least a couple hours to decorate. However, those few hours are punctuated by long periods of waiting. In total, give yourself about 2 days to make the dough and icing then decorate. My process is spread out over a few more days. I made the dough and baked the cookies earlier in the week, then froze the cookies. On Friday, I iced the first layer and let it dry. On Saturday morning, I finished them off with their faces and scarves, and I was done by lunch. By spreading out all the steps, it makes it feel a lot less time consuming. 

Step by step to making gingerbread men sugar cookies.
Step by step to making gingerbread men sugar cookies.
  1. Start by outlining the cookie in light brown flood consistency royal icing. Then fill in the outline with a generous amount of icing. [See my flooding/piping technique in this video or this one]
  2. Using a toothpick or scribe tool, even out the icing. Use the toothpick to push the icing towards the edge of the cookie. Tap the cookie to even out the icing and get rid of any bubbles. 
  3. While the brown icing is still wet, pipe two small dots of pink flood consistency icing to form the cheeks. Let the cookie dry for at least 4 hours, or overnight. 
  4. Once dry, use black piping consistency royal icing to make a smile between the two cheeks. Pipe two small dots for the eyes and three dots down the torso for the buttons (see in picture 5). [Also refer to this guide I put together for making the perfect Christmas cookies]
  5. Use white consistency royal icing and pipe a squiggly line at the base of the arms and feet. Let dry for at least 30 minutes. 
  6. With red (or the color of your choice) flood consistency royal icing, pipe a curved line at the base of the gingerbread mans head. Pipe another line about 1/4" inch below and two lines on the side to connect the two lines. Fill in the with icing and even out with a toothpick. Let crust, about 30 minutes.
  7. Pipe two more lines over the top of the scarf and down one side of the torso, about the same width apart as the first part of the scarf. Fill in with icing and even out with a toothpick.
  8. To make tassels for the edge of the scarf, pipe a small line of icing at the end of the scarf. Use the toothpick to "pull" threads of icing down at different angles. Then pipe small dots on top of the "threads". Let dry for at least 2 hours.

I thought they turned out so cute! You could do various styles with the scarves. For some of them, I used a piping consistency icing to make it appear like they were knit scarves or had more texture. 

You could also use icing to make little pants, hats, ear muffs, or whatever pieces of clothing you want. I like the scarves because they are easy. :)