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Ginger Bread Cookies:
A Classic Holiday Cookie

These Ginger Bread Cookies are a classic, one that represents the tradition of baking cookies at Christmas time. These cookies can make simple ginger bread men or parts of a gingerbread house. What makes gingerbread cookies unique is in how they are decorated. Use this recipe to build memories when baking homemade gingerbread cookies.

Ginger Bread Cookies

Prep time: 30 minutes

Bake time: 9-10 minutes

Makes about 2 dozen gingerbread men, 3 inches high



¾ cup butter or margarine, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

¼ cup molasses

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground allspice



¾ cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons egg white powder

1 tablespoon water

(See Tips for How to Make Christmas Cookie Icing)


  1. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Set aside.

  2. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well blended. Stir in molasses and vanilla extract.

  3. Add dry ingredients gradually to creamed mixture until blended.

  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.

  5. Preheat oven to 350º F.

  6. Split dough into two balls. Roll one ball to ¼ inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use ginger bread man cookie cutter to cut cookies. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove cookies from the oven. Cool completely.

  7. In a small bowl, mix together icing ingredients. Fill a zip-top sandwich bag with icing, cut 1/4 inch off corner, and pipe decorations onto cookies as desired. Allow icing to dry for 1 hour. (More tips for decorating cookies with icing.)

  8. Store cookies in an airtight container. Place waxed paper in between layers.

A Special Baking Tip from The Elf

While you can make your own icing with the recipe outlined here in order to decorate Ginger Bread Cookies, you can also use premade icing purchased at any grocery store.

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