old fashioned gingerbread cookies

from little gingerbread men with gumdrop buttons, to heavily frosted [in my case lopsided] gingerbread houses, to royally iced ginger snowflakes, this is a quintessentially "christmas-y" cookie. [also see: starbucks gingerbread latte.] the flavor within this particular gingerbread cookie is perfection, enough for you to get a little of that sugar and spice taste, but not so much that it's overpowering. what i love the absolute mostest about this version is the way you can get your preferred texture regardless of preference from just one recipe. for example, if you roll the dough out real thin (think 1/8" to 1/4" thick) and bake, they come out like crunchy old fashioned gingerbread cookies, which are perfect to dip in tea and hot cocoa. whereas if you leave them a little thicker (1/4" to 1/2") they are soft and chewy, more reminiscent of sugar cookies. and if you're like me and don't quite have the dough rolled out uniformly - you'll get a little of each!

imperfect rolling skills aside, i also love that this dough turns out gorgeous cookies with crisp edges that don't puff or spread much, which makes them ideal for decorating with royal icing, frosting, and of course decorating with gumdrop buttons! this also means you can pack your cookie sheets pretty heavily, leaving only about 1/2" between cookies while baking.

gingerbread men and snowflakes in regular and mini - ready to be decorated!

gingerbread men and snowflakes in regular and mini - ready to be decorated!

| ingredients |

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 3⁄4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3⁄4 cup dark brown sugar*
1 large egg
1⁄2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla

*you can substitute light brown sugar if needed, the flavor will be less rich and bold but it still turns out a fantastic cookie!

gingerbread cookies.jpg

| method |

in a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.

in the bowl of a standing mixer beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. add the molasses, and vanilla and continue to mix until well blended. gradually stir in dry ingredients and blend until smooth.

divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

when ready to bake, prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375 degrees f.

remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface, with a lightly floured rolling pin. roll 1/4-1/8" thick for crunchier cookies, and 1/4-1/2" thick for softer, chewier cookies.

using a cookie cutter (lightly floured) cut out your desired designs. and place on a cookie sheet. these cookies do not spread much when baking, so you can load the sheet fairly heavily, just give at least 1/2" of space between cookies.

bake cookies for approximately 7 minutes, then remove the sheet from the oven and allow to stand on the sheet for a few minutes - until firm enough to move to a wire rack.

serve plain or decorate with powdered sugar, sprinkles, frosting, gumdrops or royal icing

really into the iced snowflakes this year.

really into the iced snowflakes this year.