These gingerbread cookies with royal icing are the perfect gift for the holidays! They are perfectly spiced with the good taste of gingerbread and a crisp yet soft texture. This recipe is definitely my favorite recipe to put at the top of my Christmas cookies list.
If you're in the middle of planning your Christmas recipes you absolutely must add this traditional soft gingerbread cookies recipe! Just as good as my gingerbread snowflake cookies, with a soft texture and crispy edges. These cookies hold their shape when baked and are even better and prettier decorated with royal icing.
I made a similar recipe of chocolate gingerbread cookies as in my Gingerbread house cake, but these puff up when baked which makes them even softer than the classic cookies.
Like the regular recipes, this one is also made with molasses, but my trick when I don't have any is to make a mixture of honey and maple syrup and they are always so successful.
Ingredients for gingerbread
All gingerbread recipes are very popular at holiday time, often found in cookies recipes, breads or cakes like my gingerbread cake recipe.
It is a mixture that adds flavor to the recipe, often it' s made of brown sugar, spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and other spices a little less used like anise and cardamom. And a brown or dark sugar syrup like molasses, golden syrup or honey.
Materials to make homemade Christmas cookies
This is the time of year that we make the most homemade cookies, so I have some perfect cookie cutters for this recipe, like snowflakes and gingerbread men, but the basic materials are also important to make these cookies:
- Stand mixer, although it is quite possible to do it by hand, but as soon as you need to make large quantities the stand mixer is more efficient.
- Rolling pin, essential for rolling out the dough
- Perforated baking sheets for better cooking
- A Christmas cookies cutter kit
How to make gingerbread cookies
- Mix dry ingredients together, flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
- Beat softened butter with brown sugar until creamy and smooth
- Add molasses, then egg and vanilla and mix to combine
- Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
- Form a ball with the dough, cover with cling film and let rest in the fridge for at least 2- hours.
Tip: You can make the dough the day before or 2 days ahead and leave it in the fridge and if you are in a rush place it in the freezer for about 1 hour.
Cut out and bake the cookies
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 3 mm.
- Cut out shapes with Christmas cookie cutters and place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, they are still a little soft when they come out of the oven.
- Let cool a little before moving them and letting them cool completely.
Tip: Since the dough is a bit sticky, spread it between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
Royal icing for cookies
To decorate your cookies make your own royal icing, it's easy to do and you only need 2 ingredients confectioner's sugar and water.
- Place confectioner's sugar in the bowl of a mixer with water and mix with an electric mixer for at least 5 minutes until smooth and fluid.
- Add a little water if the texture seems too thick or add a little confectioner's sugar to thicken it.
- Fill a pastry bag and cut the tip to make a small opening.
- Decorate your cookies when they are cool and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Let the icing air dry for about 1 hour.
Other Christmas recipes
- Chocolate Truffles
- Chocolate mousse pie with whipped cream
- Hot chocolate bomb
- Snickerdoodle cookies
- Chocolate crinkles
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Best Gingerbread cookies recipe
- 450 g Flour - All-purpose
- 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground ginger
- 1 pincg Ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch Ground cloves
- 1 tsp Baking soda - or baking powder
- 1 pinch Salt
- 153 g Butter - softened
- 135 g Brown sugar
- 150 g Molasses - or a mixture of honey and maple syrup
- 1 Egg - room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 200 g Confectioner's sugar - Sifted
- 23 g water
- Start by mixing together all the dry ingredients in a bowl, flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt.
- In the mixer bowl with the flat spatula beat the softened butter with the sugar for 5 minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Add molasses, egg and vanilla and mix for 1 minute.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 1 minute until the dough is smooth.
- Form the dough into a ball and cover with cling film. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Roll out the dough on 3 mm between 2 sheets of parchment paper and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the 2 sheets of parchment paper and cut out shapes with your cookie cutters.
- Place your dough pieces on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C and bake the cookies for 8-11 minutes (depending on size). The cookies are ready when they are golden brown and still a little soft to the touch, they will harden as they cool.
- Let them cool completely.
- Place the confectioner's sugar in a container with the water and mix with an electric mixer for at least 5 minutes until the mixture is smooth and has a more or less fluid texture.
- If the mixture is too liquid add confectioner's sugar and mix again for 1 minute or if it is too thick add a few drops of water and mix.
- Fill a pastry bag with the royal icing and decorate your cookies, then sprinkle with granulated sugar and let dry for 1 hour.