I'd always wanted to try my hand at making gingerbread. I confess, before this, I had never made homemade gingerbread cookies. The only kind we'd ever seen in our home came from a box or premade at the store, maybe gifted to us from neighbors. It was never really... crave worthy? I think that makes sense. Well, I went on a hunt. I wanted to try making gingerbread myself; it couldn't be that difficult. I came across several recipes, made some combinations and tweaks, and voila! An amazing gingerbread cookie! One that's not too bready, not too gingery. I mean, that kind of defeats the purpose of the name, but you are really going to love this recipe!!!
Tad, of course, had to help! In his own way. This time, after being prepped in the art of making sugar cookies, he was much easier to work with this time. He actually was able to cut out a few little cookies himself. I was really impressed!! Though, he mostly ate dough and icing. So there's that.
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3 1/4 cup flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- zest of one small orange
- 1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, orange zest, and black pepper.
- In an electric mixer, begin beating the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. It should turn a nice, dark yellow color and form into one ball. Add in the egg, molasses, orange juice, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Slowly begin to incorporate the flour mixture. The dough will begin to become crumbly, so you may want to knead with your hands to get all of the flour incorporated. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in your fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Divide the dough into 3 balls and let sit for 5-10 minutes on your kitchen counter to soften. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough balls on a floured surface and begin to cut out your desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place your cookies on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes or until crisp but not darkened. Let them sit a minute or two on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack.
- When cooled, decorate as desired.
When Jill walked in to see my masterpiece she said, "They look very homemade!" BAHA! That means, they're cute but they look terrible. Well, they definitely aren't decorated by a gourmet pastry chef, but they do look humbly homemade and I am totally okay with that. If they were perfectly beautiful, I'd never eat them! Have fun making your cute little gingerbread cookies. These are perfect cookies for Santa!!!