Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookies are perfectly spiced with molasses, cinnamon, ginger and other warm spices, and sweetened with brown sugar. The best way to spread Christmas cheer might be singing out loud for all to hear, but these cute little fellas come in a close second!
Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookies are part of my personal Christmas cookie trifecta. The other two cookies are these perfect peanut butter blossoms and classic sugar cookies decorated with frosting and sprinkles or M&Ms. Although I have been making a chocolate peppermint cookie for a couple of years now that keeps inching it’s way up on my list of “must bakes” each Christmas season.
Even though gingerbread is a classic Christmas cookie, it’s not one I grew up with. In fact, I don’t even remember ever having had a gingerbread cookie until probably 8 or 9 years ago when I just started searching for a gingerbread cookie recipe on a whim. I’m not sure where my original recipe came from since those were the days before most food blogs really got started and I definitely wasn’t keeping track of sources anyway, but since then I’ve made small adjustments to the flour-to-butter-to-spice ratio, tweaking things just a bit here and there to yield the most perfect soft & chewy gingerbread men cookies you can imagine.
Just the aroma of the molasses and cloves and ginger and cinnamon is enough to transport you to Santa’s workshop and make you feel like one of his baker elves. This is such a fun Christmas baking tradition to make with my girls because we turn on Christmas music and they love to help use the gingerbread men cookie cutters. Although you can obviously use whatever cookie cutters you like or even cut out house shapes with a sharp knife to make 2-D gingerbread cookie houses that you can decorate with candy and eat (unlike the hard gingerbread houses that are just for decorating). I’m partial to gingerbread snowflakes and like to sprinkle them with plain ol’ granulated sugar after frosting them with royal icing.
Just be aware that while the recipe says to bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes, you might need a little more or less time depending on whether your cookie cutters are small or extra large. I have a few really big tree and train cookie cutters that I have used in the past and those gingerbread cookies take more like 11-12 minutes to bake. Tiny cookie cutters take more like 8 minutes in the oven. But the regular size cookie cutters that you are most likely to use will give you perfect soft & chewy gingerbread men cookies right around the 9-10 minute mark every time.
The royal icing is super simple to make with just a little corn syrup for shine and no messing around with meringue powder (which I can never find in the store anyway). You can use a piping bag with a small tip for decorating or do what I always do and just fill a freezer safe ziploc bag with your royal icing and then snip off one of the corners with scissors. Just don’t snip off too much.
While these gingerbread men are perfect for eating all by themselves, they also make AMAZING ice cream sandwiches if you want to put a little vanilla or strawberry ice cream between two of them. Seriously, those gingerbread ice cream sandwiches are my favorite!
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