Instructables
Picture of Easy Iced Gingerbread Cookies
The fragrant aroma of gingerbread cookies remind me of Christmas.

Let me show you how easy they are to make and decorate like a pro if you follow a simple family recipe and this Instructable which is full of tips, photos and directions to make your cookies not only tasty but a beautiful success!

You'll find these cookies are a great gift idea to give those hard to shop for people. They can be cut with any of your favorite cookie cutters or into simple round shapes and the decorating possibilities are almost endless! You can use a variety of colors and designs to make your cookies extra special.

These gingerbread cookies are not very sweet, so you can either leave them plain, or follow my BONUS RECIPE for Hard-Set Icing and follow the photo filled directions and tips for successful decorating.

So let's get started.
 
 
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Step 1: Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Picture of Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
For the Gingerbread Cookies you will need:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus additional flour for rolling dough)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened (salted, or unsalted & 1/2 tsp. salt)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup golden corn syrup
1 egg

Additional butter or non-stick spray for cookie sheets. Paper towel to grease sheets.

Tools & Equipment:

You will need 2 large mixing bowls
Electric mixer and beaters (I use a $15 hand mixer)
Measuring cups and spoons
Spatula (to scrape sides of bowl)
Cookie Sheets (2 is preferred, but one is fine as long as you allow it to cool between batches)
Cookie Cutter(s) (or a small round glass or container to cut out simple round shapes)
Rolling Pin
Plastic Wrap
Spatula or cake server (or a simple butter spreader to transfer cookies)
Oven Mitts or Pot holders
Wire Rack (to cool cookies) or a cool paper towel lined pan.

Optional Items (used in tips)

Wax Paper & packing tape
Skewers

Tip 1: For successful rolling of dough, keep your rolling pin in the freezer!

Hard-Set Icing Recipe & Decorating Tips Follow the Gingerbread Cookie Recipe!

Step 2: Making the Gingerbread Cookies

In a bowl, mix your dry ingredients together and set aside.

In another large bowl beat your butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in corn syrup and egg. Beat until smooth.

Add dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time, mixing well with every addition.

Transfer dough to plastic wrap and gather into a firm ball.

Refrigerate for 30 mins.

Tip 2: While you wait for your dough to chill take this opportunity to clean up or make yourself some tea or hot chocolate while you wait.

Step 3: Rolling out Your Gingerbread Cookies

Picture of Rolling out Your Gingerbread Cookies
Remove your dough from the fridge and preheat your oven to 375°F

Unwrap your dough and cut 1/3 of the ball. Rewrap and return the remaining 2/3 into the fridge to keep chilled.

Grease your cookie sheet(s) with butter, margarine or non-stick cooking spray. Spread evenly with paper towel. Set aside.

If you used my tip, take your rolling pin out of the freezer. (A chilled rolling pin aids in keeping your dough well chilled).

Tip 3: Take waxed paper & packing tape and secure a large square area to your work table (about 3 feet square). Wax paper helps you to use less flour for rolling, the tape will keep it secure, and this tip makes clean up super fast and easy!

Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Place the 1/3 dough and flatten slightly. Use your rolling pin and roll dough out in alternating directions without forcing the dough too much. It only takes a few minutes to roll out to 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick. (Depending on your preference.)

Tip 4: If you use disposable wooden skewers, they measure approximately 1/4 inch thick. Place them on either side of where you are rolling your dough. As the rolling pin goes over the skewers, your dough will be no less than 1/4 inch thick.

Once your dough is evenly rolled out, take your cookie cutter and begin cutting your shapes from the dough. If you find your cutters are sticking, simply dip your cutter in flour prior to use.

After cutting out your shapes, carefully remove the surrounding "scraps" and then lift each cookie gently with a spatula type tool and transfer to greased cookie sheet. Leave approximately 1/2 inch space between cookies and edges of cookie sheet.

Gather your dough scraps and add to another 1/3 of the refrigerated dough. Refrigerate remaining 1/3. Work the scraps into the dough for a minute and then repeat steps above to roll out additional shapes. Then use the remaining 1/3 dough with the remaining scraps and roll out your last cookies.

Once your cookie sheet is full, place in preheated oven and bake for 7 minutes. (You don't want to over brown your cookies).

If you have a second cookie sheet, grease it and fill with more cookie dough and bake. If you only have one cookie sheet, allow it to cool to room temperature before adding more cookie shapes. DO NOT place cut cookie dough onto a hot cookie sheet.

After 7 minutes, remove cookie sheet from oven and place on stove. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for about 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Step 4: Gingerbread Cookies

Congratulations! You have just made a batch of beautiful aromatic cookies that are sure to be a hit with family and friends.

If you followed my earlier tip and lined your work surface with waxed paper, you'll find clean up is a breeze! Just pull the tape from one end and gather up your waxed paper into a ball (keeping all the mess inside). Now just toss into the trash. Wasn't that easy?

If you would like to learn how to make these cookies extra special and decorate them with icing, read on and get my bonus recipe!

Step 5: Bonus Recipe: Hard-Set Icing

For this hard-set Icing Recipe you will need:

3 tablespoons pasteurized egg whites (or use 2 large egg whites)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 1/2 - 3 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

Additional Tools and Optional Ingredients:

Piping bag & narrow piping tip*
Mixing Bowl
Electric Mixer & Beaters
Spatula
Toothpicks
Small bowl and spoon

Food Coloring (Gel colorant is preferred).
Decorative sugars and dragées 

Tip 5: * If you don't have a piping bag and tip, you can simply use a clean resealable bag and cut a small amount of one corner to make a narrow tip for piping.

Mix the Icing:

In a mixing bowl, add your egg whites and lemon juice. Beat slightly to combine. Add your Icing Sugar a little at a time until well mixed and creamy. Your mixture should be thick enough that it will not run when piped on cookies, but not so thick that you can't squeeze it through a piping bag. Transfer icing to piping bag. Cover any unused icing as it will dry hard if left uncovered.

If you want to color some of your icing, add a small amount of gel (or liquid) food coloring to a portion of your icing sugar. Mix with your mixer until the desired shade is achieved. Transfer colored icing to piping bag. Cover any unused icing.

Step 6: Decorating Your Gingerbread Cookies

Picture of Decorating Your Gingerbread Cookies
Piping does not have to be difficult. With a steady hand, simply draw a design onto your cookies. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to do this. HAVE FUN with it! This is your opportunity to be creative. 

Before the icing dries, you can add small silver or colored dragées, sprinkles or sugar crystals to your cookies.

Tip 6: If you do make a "mistake", use a toothpick to clean up the areas you are unhappy with.

How to "Flood Fill" Cookies:

If you want to "flood fill" some of your cookies, outline the edges with your icing. Then take a small bowl and add some of the icing mixture with a small amount (1/2 tsp at a time) of water until a slightly thinner consistency is achieved. Don't over thin your icing!

Now spoon a small amount onto the cookie (remember its easier to add more than take away some) and spread with a toothpick.

Once the area is "flood filled" you can either:
- let it dry and add more piping designs once the icing has set, or
- add sprinkles or sugar crystals while the icing is still wet.

Tip 7: For the best results, keep within a simple theme. Its too easy to get carried away with ideas, so stick with only a couple colors and techniques for the most unified look.

Once you cookies are decorated, carefully transfer to wax paper and allow to dry for at least 4-5 hours (to ensure they are hard set) before stacking.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable!

I would very much like to see your creations and read your comments, so feel free to share what you have made and tell me what you think about this recipe!

If you think this is a winning recipe for the Instructables Cookie Challenge, then please give me a vote.

Thanks,

canucksgirl
These are beautiful and they sound delicious! Can't wait to try that recipe!
canucksgirl (author)  sugarandmeringue2 years ago
Thank you very much. I appreciate you checking out my cookie entry. I really liked yours, it looks fantastic.

I had to give you my vote! :D
cataract2 years ago
Hello :D

a well written and detailed guide :D and looks pretty yummy too =)
will give it a go and try cook them my self :D

voted!
canucksgirl (author)  cataract2 years ago
Thank you very much cataract!

I appreciate the comments and the vote.

Look forward to seeing your projects soon, and welcome to Instructables :D

canucksgirl
WUVIE2 years ago
Thank you for the inspiration! For years, actual years, I have been collecting cookie cutters, with an emphasis on snowflakes. I've put it off so long, and I think it is about time to do something about it.

I look forward to trying your icing recipe!

Great instrucatable!
canucksgirl (author)  WUVIE2 years ago
Thank you for the comment. As a new member, it's appreciated.
I'm glad you found inspiration from my recipes! I absolutely LOVE snowflakes and I am very pleased with how they turned out.

When you get yours done, post me your pics. I'd really like to see them.

BTW: I entered this in the cookie contest (hoping to win the KitchenAid), I would sure appreciate your vote! :)

Thanks again!
You've got my vote! :-)
canucksgirl (author)  WUVIE2 years ago
Thank you. That's awesome. You have no idea how much I love that darn Kitchen Aid....

BTW, when/if you get your cookies made, post me a picture here (or PM me). I'd love to see your snowflakes!

Thanks again!
Nicely done!!! I've been looking for a recipe that doesn't turn out black hole hard when cooked. although I probably shouldn't cook with ADD.

thanks!!!
canucksgirl (author)  Random_Canadian2 years ago
Thank you :D If you follow my recipe you won't make inedible hockey pucks - You'll have yummy cookies ;)
They look great!
canucksgirl (author)  PotatoCoffee2 years ago
Thank you. I hope you'll give the recipe a try. They are quite easy to make.
Sure I will!
canucksgirl (author) 2 years ago
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!
sunshiine2 years ago
Where did you find such pretty cookie cutters?
canucksgirl (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
There is a store near where I live that is to die for! They have EVERYTHING you could possibly ever need, want or could ever dream of. They have cake pans to buy or rent, hundreds of cookie cutters, candy and chocolate molds, flavorings, hundreds of food colors in gel, powder, edible metallics and sparkles, plus more candy decorations than you could ever imagine. The list really goes on...

Seriously, the first time I went there, I felt like a 5 year old. I wanted to jump up and down and scream in excitement. :D
I share your enthusiasm for kitchen goodies. It is nice to know
someone else out there can be so happy over things like this.

:-)
canucksgirl (author)  WUVIE2 years ago
Yes, its nice to hear that I'm not the only one. :)
Lucky you! I live in a small town that you can't find anything different. So frustrating for me because I like the unusual stuff you can do beautiful things with for other people. Like ironing their sheets. I remember I went looking for linen water and no one here knew what it was. My day is coming when we move.
canucksgirl (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
My mom says the exact same thing all the time. They live in a small town and she's always complaining that she has all these ideas but she can't find any of the things she needs. That's probably why I end up carting over half the free world when I go there to visit so that I can bring her all the stuff she can't find. Maybe you can get one of your kids to bring along some things or buy online. You can't go wrong there.
I do have request of them. But then mom does not wish to be tooooo needy.
canucksgirl (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
My mom never wants to be either, that's why I usually have to pry it out of her because I do remember what living in a small town was like... ugh.
sunshiine2 years ago
Oh my goodness! What lovely cookies! You did save me one or two right? They look amazing! Wishedmine had been as beautiful : (
Sunshiine
canucksgirl (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
Aww Thank you for the kind words! I just finished up with them this evening. One of my last projects before Christmas and there are plenty of extras here for you too.

Plus, I saw your pics they were very cute looking! don't be so tough on yourself. :D
Oh I can taste them now. I have dough to make in the fridge but not sure if I will crank them out tonight. I really want them to turn out awesome!
canucksgirl (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
I have faith in you sunshiine. They'll turn out great! :D
Thanks
canucksgirl (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
You are very welcome. Message me when your pictures are ready. :)