I’ve never eaten a gingerbread man up until a few days ago. Whenever I tell people that, they never seem to believe me. For Christmas, Little Sis got some beautifully decorated gingerbread cookies from one of her coworkers. They were so pretty and I was so excited to finally try one. I had an idea of one should taste like. I imagined a crunchy cookie, with some spices. Unfortunately, the cookie I tasted didn’t taste anything like what I was expecting.
So I decided to make my own gingerbread men, in hopes of finding a recipe closer to the cookie I had imagined. I used a recipe I found in Family Circle Magazine that looked fairly simple to whip together.
The dough smelled of molasses as I was preparing it. I had a lot of fun cutting out the gingerbread shapes. I’ve seen people do snowflakes, stars, Christmas trees, etc. But I really wanted to do gingerbread men. Then I found some cookie cutters for gingerbread babies and gingerbread woman, and decided to use those as well. I could do a whole family!
When I tasted my first fresh baked cookie, it was exactly how I imagined gingerbread would taste. Crunchy, spicy, with a bit more kick than other spice cookies like molasses cookies or ginger snaps.
After gobbling a couple, I needed to figure out how to decorate my gingerbread family! I scoured the internet for images of gingerbread men. I wanted something simple. But also cute. I wanted my gingerbread family to have faces. After much research, I even had Boyfriend draw up some preliminary sketches. Then I finally settled in on some designs.
I’m really happy with how my gingerbread family turned out. I was so excited to eat them after I decorated them. And then something happened. I don’t know exactly what. But when I went to choose one to eat, I couldn’t do it! They stared up at me with their smiling faces, and I couldn’t bear to choose one and bite into it.
After much debating, I finally took one, and turned it face down and started to eat it. But guilt washed over me with every bite and I wasn’t able to enjoy the gingerbread cookie at all! I’m not sure why I had this reaction. I have no problem eating other cute things like gummy bears, panda cookies, etc.
Next time I make these, I’ll have to make sure not to decorate them all so that I have some I can munch on.
Gingerbread Family Cookies
These cookies are crunchy with a wonderful spiced flavor. You can cut them into any shape you like, but I love making them into gingerbread families.
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup original molasses
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg, then molasses. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture.
Divide dough into 2 halves. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350°F.
- On a well-floured surface, roll half of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut shapes with assorted-sized gingerbread cookie cutters; transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Reroll scraps together and then cut shapes again. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Bake the cookies for 13 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks to cool.
Recipe source: Family Circle Magazine