Introduction: Gingerbread Man

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

Catch me if you can, I'm the gingerbread man. I lead the way to holiday fun!

Okay, okay... enough of that. But who doesn't love gingerbread men? They are an integral part of the holiday season. That alone should be excuse enough to make some for your own celebration. Follows are two easy recipes for making gingerbread men. One of the recipes is for making gingerbread men for human consumption and the other is to use as decoration (and is also edible should you get snowed in with 20 starving relatives and desperation sets in). Partake in the holiday fun and make your own gingerbread man today!

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Pick one of the two ingredient lists to suit your needs. Also, don't forget to give the tools list a quick once over.

If you would like to make some nonstructural gingerbread for human consumption in the form of cookies, I highly recommend:

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups of molasses
2/3 cup of chilled water
7 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves

If you would like to make some structural gingerbread for ornaments, I can recommend the following recipe:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

6 eggs
2 pounds confectioners' sugar

Mr and Mrs Gingerbread Man Cookie Cutters
Electric mixer
Icing tips
Ziplock bags

Step 2: Make Dough

To see the in-depth process of making gingerbread dough check out the gingerbread recipe Instructable.

Below is a photographic overview of the process.

Step 3: Roll Out the Dough

Place your ball of gingerbread dough on a highly flowered surface. With a lightly flowered rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is a flat 1/4" thick sheet.

Step 4: Make Men (and Women)

Take your gingerbread man cookie cutters, and starting at one edge of the rolled out dough, cut out your gingerbread men and women and place them spaced apart on a baking sheet.

When you don't have room to cut out any more, roll the dough back into a ball, spread the dough back out and cut out some more. Continue until you have used up all the dough.

Step 5: Bake

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. While this is happening, refrigerate the cookie trays for about 15 minutes.

Bake the cookies for 8 - 10 minutes. When they appear to golden and rise, then you know that they are done.

Step 6: Frosting

While your cookies cool off, you can make icing by mixing 6 egg white and 2 pounds of confectioners  sugar in a food processor until they are about the consistency of spackle.

Once it is, take a Ziploc bag, poke a hole in a far corner and push an icing tip halfway through from the inside.

Spoon your frosting into the bag and pack it into the corner with the icing tip. Seal the bag shut.

If you made a mess like I did or your bag breaks under pressure, poke another hole into the corner of another Ziploc bag, poke the same icing tip through and double bag it.

Step 7: Decorate

By squeezing firmly from the top of the bag you can apply clothing and smiles to your gingerbread men.

You can also make different color frosting by adding food color to small batches of the icing. You can also purchase pre-made cake frosting and sprinkles.

This is your chance to get creative.

Homemade Holidays Food Contest

Participated in the
Homemade Holidays Food Contest