Happy Christmas Eve! There are about three or four Christmas cookie recipes that get made every December in my household. Gingerbread cookies are one of them. And this is a recipe I do not mess around with. Sometimes I’ll try variations of my favorite Christmas cookies to make sure I’m making the best possible version, but not with these. This recipe is basic and hits the spot every time.
One special thing about these cookies is that baking them is a tradition with my brothers and me. The three of us typically find some time over our Christmas vacation and we make these. My mom or I usually make the dough ahead of time, and when my brothers and I find a moment, we break out the cookie cutters. We usually divide and conquer. I am in charge of rolling out the dough and doing most of the cookie cutting. Then one of my brother’s is in charge of egg washing the cookies, and the other decorates them with sprinkles.
Warning: this dough is best if it’s chilled overnight, you should just make it when you have a minute, stick it in the freezer, and pull it out later that week/month when you’re ready to bake them off
Yields a lot, this is a big batch, From my mom
- 1 cup molasses (NOT blackstrap)
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda (dissolved in ½ cup water)
- 2 eggs
- 5-6 cups flour (sometimes I put in some whole wheat flour)
- Cream together molasses, shortening, and sugar. Add eggs and baking soda dissolved in water. Mixture will look a little curdled at this point.
- In a separate bowl combine 2 cups of flour with the spices, and salt.
- Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet. After combined, continue to add 3-4 more cups of flour until the mixture is pretty stiff.
- Allow dough to chill in freezer overnight.
- Let dough defrost on counter for about an hour, or move it from the freezer to the fridge when you wake up in the morning.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Use flour on your surface and rolling pin. Roll out cookies in batches and use cookie cutters to cut them out. Try to put cookies on baking sheets that are of similar sizes. I usually categorize by big cookies, medium size, and tiny ones, and I’ll do a couple trays of each. You can choose to do an egg wash and apply sprinkles before they go in the oven, or frost after the bake.
- Bake 12-15 minutes until a little puffy and firm to the touch. Allow to cool and decorate as you see fit.