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This recipe for Gingerbread Men is sweet, simple, and snappy. Perfect for the winter and especially any holiday celebration, these flavorful and crunchy cookies are easy to make and so much fun to decorate!
Why You’ll Love these Gingerbread Men
It’s December and that means we are getting the house decorated and ready for the Christmas holidays! It also means Christmas baking and here’s a recipe that is on our list every single year. This simple gingerbread cookie recipe is bound to be a hit.
If you have never made gingerbread men (or gingerbread boys, as we call them) it is so much fun! Not only to bake, but to spend hours on a snowy afternoon decorating them all up. Here’s my gingerbread cookie recipe – try it this year.
For the Gingerbread:
- dark molasses – gives your gingerbread a warm and almost smoky flavor.
- baking soda
- cloves – pairs perfectly with the cinnamon and adds more warmth to the cookie’s flavor.
- cinnamon – a great spice to pair with ginger.
- ginger – gives your gingerbread men their signature flavor of subtle spiciness!
- salt – helps offset some of the sweetness and balance out the spices.
For the Icing:
- icing sugar
- vanilla extract
- milk – you can also use cream.
How to Make Gingerbread Men
Usually what we do is make the gingerbread and bake the boys one day. The next day, we spend the afternoon decorating them all. It’s like an assembly line of little soldiers!
- Blend the butter and sugar until creamy. Then beat in the molasses.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in thirds with 5 or more tablespoons water.
- Take your time and get it all blended together before adding more. Work in the last of the mixture with your hands.
- Flour your counter and plop the gingerbread on there. Make sure you flour your rolling pin too. And then, keep some extra flour handy.
- Roll thin using a rolling pin. You may need to keep dusting your counter with flour to keep the dough from sticking.
- Then cut out with your Gingerbread Men cookie cutter or Ninjabread cutter.
- Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Let them cool completely before icing!
How to Decorate Gingerbread Men
(Disclaimer: Pretty much anyone can decorate better than me. That. Is. All.)
Extra decorating ingredients for Gingerbread Boys:
- Coloured sprinkles
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Chocolate chips for jacket buttons
- Food colouring
Here all the arms, feet and the head have all been dipped in the icing and then dipped in the sprinkles.
Just lay them on a cookie sheet or plastic wrap after and let them dry completely.
You can see I am using a good sized container for dipping the extremities. Even still, the odd guy gets broken.
I dip him too and then I eat him!
Make them as colourful as you like. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to decorating! Sometimes we make both Gingerbread Boys AND Ninjabread Men. You can’t go wrong and little kids just love these guys!
Enjoy and have fun!
More Festive Recipes
Our entire Country Living in a Cariboo Valley Recipe Collection can be found here, and here are some more fantastic recipes hand-picked for you to bring some festivity to your holidays!
- A delicious Fireball Pumpkin Pie is the perfect way to warm up on any cold day!
- Did you know you can bake your Halloween pumpkin? This recipe will teach you how.
- And this recipe for Boterkoek (or butter cake) is a traditional Dutch recipe that’s perfect for around Christmastime!
Gingerbread Men Recipe
If you enjoy this recipe for gingerbread boys (or men), please be sure to rate it 5 stars below! And print this off or save it to your recipes folder!
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dark molasses
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp milk or cream
- Beat the butter and sugar until creamy.
- Then beat in the molasses and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in thirds. Use 5 or more tablespoons of water to slightly thin the mixture.
- Work in the last of the mixture using your hands (mixture will be thick)
- Dust your counter, then roll the dough thin, using a rolling pin.
- Cut out the gingerbread men using a cookie cutter.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet immediately and let cool completely before icing.
- Mix the icing sugar, butter, vanilla and milk well. Separate into different dishes if you want to add food colouring to some of the icing.
- Decorate by dipping arms, legs and head into the icing, then dip into bowls filled with sprinkles or chocolate shavings.
- Use a pastry bag to make the shirt buttons, eyes and mouth.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 men
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 301mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 4g
First Published December 2017; Updated June 2021
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Our entire Country Living in a Cariboo Valley Recipe Collection can be found here