The Best Gingerbread Cookies

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What is your favorite holiday cookie? Mine is gingerbread! To me, gingerbread cookies signal the Christmas season. I rarely have a gingerbread cookie between January and November, so their deliciousness reserved for that very specific time of year when my stepmom makes loads of her famous gingerbread cookies.

This year I made it my mission to perfect my gingerbread cookie recipe. I made cookies last year that were good, but not good enough in my opinion. So I took a couple lessons from my stepmom's recipe and completely reformulated the recipe. And by that, I mean that I just changed the measurements of a couple ingredients. But it sounds pretty impressive when I say "reformulated", doesn't it?

Oh yeah...and I made a video!

What is a bit different in these cookies is that I used both baking soda and baking powder. I didn't want the cookies to be so hard you would break your teeth, but I also didn't want them puffing up and spreading out so that when I baked a gingerbread man he would end up looking like the State Puft Marshmallow Man. The combination of the two makes these cookies rise just enough that they are super soft right out of the oven. Even after a few days, they are still nice and airy and not as hard as a rock.

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The other trick to getting soft, not super crunchy cookies is to roll them out rather thick. Of course, I use my favorite rolling pin bands to ensure that my cookies are all about 1/4" thick. 

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After all is said and done, these cookies turn out to be perfect (in my opinion). Super flavorful without being spicy. Slightly soft without losing their shape. They are perfect for decorating, but also don't need a lot of decoration if that's not your jam. You can just dust them with powdered sugar or sprinkles and call it a day. 

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What I am saying here guys is that YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE COOKIES!

Sorry for yelling, but it's that important to me. If you like gingerbread or know someone who does, this recipe is for you! Consider it my early Christmas gift to you. :)


Recipe

Gingerbread Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes     Cook Time: 15 minutes    Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup lightly packed browned sugar (158 grams)

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 2/3 cups all purpose flour (574 grams)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. About 30 seconds to a minute. Mix in the egg until completely combined then mix in vinegar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until the mixture is completely smooth.

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture. Mix until the flour is completely incorporated and the dough is tacky, but not overly sticky.
  3. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc and place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
  4. When ready to roll out and bake, preheat oven to 350 for a conventional oven or 325 for a convection oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out into a desired shape. Place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the top of the cookies no longer shine and the edges have darkened slightly.
  7. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Wait until completely cooled before decorating with icing.