Gingerbread cookies are the best. I like to bite their heads first, then each arm, and then each leg. These will be the second cookie I will include in my holiday cookie boxes.
I have some strong opinions on how I like my gingerbread and this recipe fits the bill on every front. These the cookies are delicious, classic, spicy and a rich shade of coffee – just what they were meant to be.
Let's make strong gingerbread cookies
Not the right time for whipped, wet or flake biscuits. When making gingerbread men (or women) it is important to make a cookie that is crisp, durable and shady on the dry side. This is especially important if you are making big + tall gingerbread men, or using the recipe to create walls for a gingerbread house or structure. You should be able to keep your gingerbread cookies off one leg and not have the leg crushed or bent away. I'm not talking about making a gingerbread cracker here, but I hope you get my variant. As you can see from the image the gingerbread cookie stands tall and straight. This is what you are following.
I like melodies cookies. Don't wipe the spices please. This recipe is loaded with a generous dose of ground ginger, cinnamon, ground clove, and pepper. Every bite should have a spicy slush to it. As they bake, people will have to flock to the oven from the long recesses of the house to see the source of the wonderful smells. You can't be shy with spices.
Gingerbread cookies look best when they are deep ginger in color, and smear from head to toe with spice freckles. The molasses in this recipe along with the generous amount of spices for a nice, classic eggplant look. I'm also selective about the shape and physique of my gingerbread people. I am always on the lookout for cookie cutters that are just the right shape for them. Too much squat or stubby is not good, but my current cutter (the one I used for these pics) is a tad on the lean side.
Gingerbread cookie decoration
I tend to choose simplicity here. Sometimes only two small dots are enough. I can do some without the buttons and go for a tiny white heart sprinkled with a touch of sugar sparks instead. A little variety is nice. And, although I like a cookie with a higher proportion of ice in the cookie, more elaborate ice cream designs on the gingerbread sometimes end up looking a little too strict for my taste.
Getting the baking time key. Whatever you do, don't bake these kids. They will dry out immediately. If nothing else, you just bake them a shade. They will continue to bake for another two minutes as you pull them out of the oven. Big cookies need more time to cook than tiny ones, keeping that in mind.
A smart service idea
I was at a holiday party when chopped cookies bake on sticks. They were ordered, bouquet, in a container full of sugar. Their children loved to eat them like lollipops.
Use all the dough
Gingerbread men and women tend to bake next to tiny eggplant stars, hearts, and candy. All are made from dough scraps. You can stock up on your trash and look back sometimes to use as much dough as possible.
Overall, I like this gingerbread recipe, especially for cookies (and beyond!). It's a classic dough that could easily be adapted for other gingerbread efforts!