This traditional Christmas cookie recipe makes soft, chewy, perfectly flavored Gingerbread Boys every time! They will soon become your family’s favorite too.
For the Cookies:
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
- 5 cups flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- Raisins for Decoration
For the white icing:
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- whole milk or heavy cream as needed (approximately ¼ – ½ cup)
Preparing the Dough:
- Sift together flour and spices. Set aside.
- Thoroughly cream butter, sugar, and salt. Stir in egg, molasses and vinegar; beat well.
- Stir flour into butter mixture. It is easiest to add the flour in several additions, scraping down the bowl between each one.
- Form dough into two balls and chill wrapped in plastic or in a covered mixing bowl over night or at least 5 hours. I have found that 3 hours of chilling time is okay but the dough will not be as easy to roll out without sticking. Overnight will make the rolling and cutting process a breeze!
Rolling the Cookies:
- Preheat oven to 375* and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll one ball out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters and gently place cookies 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Decorate with raisins.
- Bake large gingerbread boys (~5” tall) 6 minutes in preheated oven; bake medium cookies (3-4” tall) 5 minutes; bake small to medium cookies (2-3” tall) 4 minutes but watch them because they could easily over bake; and bake the cute little 1” cookies like my angels only 3 minutes.
- Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store for up to two weeks in a sealed plastic bag or a tightly closed container.
Make the Icing
- Add powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir with a spatula to combine. Continue to add milk several teaspoons at a time until the icing is thickened but still runny enough to drizzle off your spatula.
- Spoon icing into a piping bag fitted with a small circle tip or into a plastic baggie with one corner cut off into a tiny hole. Ice as desired.
- Note: I like to add more vanilla for flavor but it does tint the icing so it will not be a pure white. You may add less vanilla if you desire a snow-white icing. If you add too much vanilla just sift more powdered sugar into the bowl and add a little bit more milk. Don’t stress too much about the ratios. It will taste sweet no matter what!
- If icing thickens too much while standing, add more milk to bring it back to the correct consistency. This icing is very hard to mess up, so no worries!