I have baked gingerbread men for so many Christmases! I love them and while the competition is stiff, I have a rotation of about thirty different cookie recipes, I would say that they are my favorite Christmas cookie that I bake. When I first started baking them everyone had an opinion, most weren’t fans of gingerbread and others had only had the hard, usually stale, store bought kind. However, after they tasted the soft and adorably decorated gingerbread men I baked they quickly changed their minds! Now they are a Christmas staple in our family and I have even shipped a few boxes to friends upon request.
1/2 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
1/2 Cup Molasses
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
Beat shortening. Add sugar, baking powder, spices and baking soda, mix well. Beat in molassess, egg and vinegar. Mix in flour. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic and chill for three hours. Roll and cutout dough with a gingerbread cookie cutter. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cool on wire rack and decorate with royal icing.
Tips: Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to avoid adding excess flour to the dough, which would cause the cookies to spread when baking.
3 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 Cups of Sifted Powdered Sugar
6 Tablespoons of Water*
Beat in stand mixer for 7-10 minutes on medium speed. Add icing to a disposable plastic piping bag, no need to use a tip, just snip a small piece off of the end. Pipe on eye, a smile, two buttons and squiggly lines on the legs and arms. For a pop of color you can add Gingerbread House Candy Decorations as buttons!
*Use 1 Tablespoon less water if you’d like stiffer icing.