Easy to make Gingerbread Men (and women) cookies. Bake up a batch of these soft and chewy Christmas cookies to decorate with your family. Includes icing decoration tips.
These classic gingerbread cookies make chewy cookies that smell just like Christmas. Did you know Christmas has a smell? Yup, pine trees and cookies – that’s the smell of the holidays!
Looking for a family activity to do in the kitchen? Bake up a batch of these delicious Gingerbread cookies! Not only will you have a yummy treat to eat, but they provide endless fun for the entire family when decorating them! Get the kids involved by handing them a pastry bag filled with icing and let them get to work!
And because my daughter recently asked me if Gingerbread Men Cookies could also be girls, I decided to name these the more correct Gingerbread Men and Women Cookies. These cookies are dedicated to my daughters who always ask the best questions to keep me on my toes.
Why These Gingerbead Cookies are the BEST
- They’re delicious, obviously. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t be posting them!
- They’re not overly spicy. Some gingerbread cookies are too spicy and aren’t kid friendly. These are perfect tasting for even the littlest member of the family.
- They’re soft and chewy, no hard cookies allowed!
- Following up from the previous comment, even after a few days of storing them, they still aren’t hard. I doubt they’ll last 4 days without someone eating them all, but if they do, they’ll still be soft.
- These cool down quickly once you remove them from the oven. That means you don’t need to wait very long before you can start decorating them. If you have kids, you totally understand how important this is!
How to Make
Wet Ingredients. Mix sugar, molasses, butter (softened) and hot water in a large mixing bowl.
Dry ingredients. Now add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves to the bowl and continue mixing. You can use a hand mixer or spoon, up to you. If the dough feels too wet, you can add a little bit more flour.
Refrigerate. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or eco friendly bees wrap) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If we’re not in a rush and I’m trying to prep for the next day I’ll refrigreate the dough overnight. Note: please don’t skip this step. The dough needs to be chilled or it won’t roll out.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll and Cut. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface, rolling until it’s about 1/4 inch thickness. Using gingerbread cookie cutters (or other shapes), cut your shapes and place on greased baking sheets. Tip: Here’s women cookie cutters or just decorate dresses and jumpers with icing after baking.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the middle of the cookie seems firm. Remove from oven and allow to cool before decorating them.
Decorate with sprinkles, icing and other decorations. Have fun! Below you’ll find more info on decorating and storing the cookies.
How to Decorate Gingerbread Men and Women
First, this isn’t a competition (unless you’re actually decorating these for a competition, then ignore me completley), so don’t feel overwhelmed decorating the best looking gingerbread cookies ever. Have fun with it. I let my kids go wild with these, and we completely turn our kitchen into a big mess, but that’s ok because in my opinion Christmas cookies are about the memories!
With that said, here’s some suggestions for decorating:
- Royal icing is the most classic way to decorate gingerbread men cookies. You can easily make homemade royal icing from egg whites, powdered sugar and water. Also check out meringue powder to make this even easier. Use icing to make facial features, body parts, bows, dresses, jumpers, decorative squiggles and more.
- If using royal icing in a piping bag, practice a couple times on a piece of parchment paper. This will help you figure out how thick or thin your lines must be.
- Using food coloring? Gel food coloring offers the best saturated colors.
- Candies. Pick up some small candies so you can use them for eyes, buttons and clothing decorations. We love mini M&Ms and Sixlets (remember those?) for this. You can also melt candy melts and spread them onto the cookies using a butter knife or small paint brush.
- Sprinkles. Both regular sprinkles and sparkling sugars work great for decorating. Have a few different colors on hand!
How to Store
Store cookies in an airtight container up to 5 days. If making as gifts, I recommend making a day before so the gift receiver has a couple days to eat them.
Hope you enjoy these Gingerbread Men (and Women) Cookies!
Other Christmas Cookie Recipes
- Cream Cheese Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Peanut Butter Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
- Christmas Cookies to Make With Kids
- Russian Tea Cakes
- Christmas Shortbread Cookies
- Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Easy Sugar Cookies
- M&M Christmas Cookies
- The Best Peanut Butter Blossoms Cookies
- Snowman Peanut Butter Balls
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Gingerbread Men and Women CookiesPrint
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup butted softened
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, molasses, softened butter and water until smooth. Add egg and continue to mix.
- Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves to bowl and continue mixing until completely combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This is a important step, please don't skip it or the dough will be hard to roll out.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out onto a floured surface, rolling until it’s about 1/4 inch thickness. Using gingerbread cookie cutters, cut your shapes out and place on greased baking sheets.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from the oven. Allow to cool and then decorate with icing, sprinkles and decorations, making both gingerbread men and women.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.