Sweet and spicy, these soft, chewy gingerbread cookies are perfect for holiday baking and decorating at Christmas.
Prep Time15 minutesmins
Cook Time10 minutesmins
Chill Time1 hourhr
Total Time1 hourhr25 minutesmins
Keyword: Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the shortening, sugar, and salt on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg, molasses, and white vinegar; beat well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground ginger.
A little at a time, add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. The cookie dough will be thick.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. The dough should be cold to properly be rolled out.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease or line large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. For the best cookie shapes, use the method below.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and keep the dough in 1 big pile. Cut out 2 sheets of parchment paper, at least 1 inch bigger than the cookie cutter.
On one of the pieces of parchment paper, take a 1-inch ball of dough and roll it out to be ⅛ inch thick (add flour to the rolling pin if it’s sticking). Press the cookie cutter into the flattened dough, and remove the excess dough scraps around the edge, adding it back to the big ball of dough. Remove the cookie cutter. Take the other piece of parchment paper and place it on top of the cut out dough and flip it over.
Gently peel the top piece of paper off (the cookie will now be upside down). Then gently flip the dough back over onto the parchment-lined baking sheet (spacing the cut-out cookies 1 inch apart) and peel the top paper off (the cookie will now be right-side up again). This ensures a perfect shape!
Bake cookies for 5 to 6 minutes or until firm. Do not overbake, or they will become crunchy.
Use royal icing and candies of your choice to decorate and serve!
In a stand mixer, add the meringue powder and powdered sugar, then add vanilla and turn the mixer on low speed.
Pour in ½ cup of water. Turn the mixer on high until it starts to increase in volume, then add a tablespoon of water at a time until the frosting falls from the whisk in a slow stream. I added another 2 tablespoons of water until my frosting was perfect.
Place icing in a piping bag with a small round tip.
You can also add a few drops of food coloring to create different colors in your icing.
Any of your favorite cookie cutters can be used for your batch of gingerbread. This recipe made gingerbread men, Christmas trees, candy canes, and snowflakes, but different shapes will work too.
If preferred, the dough can all be rolled out at once, then cut into shapes. It’s just more difficult to transfer the cut-out dough onto the baking sheet while still retaining its proper shape, especially if using intricate shapes.
When removing the excess dough from around the cookie cutter, use a toothpick to get into the small crevices if needed.
When peeling the parchment paper off of the piece of dough, start from the bottom and peel back the paper nearly horizontally in the opposite direction. Doing it at this angle will help the dough not stick as much.
Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cookies at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
The gingerbread dough is rolled out very thin, but the cookies puff up and cook through nicely in the oven.
I suggest using a #2 or #3 tip for this cookie decorating project.