Want to know how to make gingerbread cookies that are soft and warmly-spiced? This easy recipe shows you how. There are two basic secrets that make these cookies soft: 1) Roll them very thick (between 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch) and 2) Don't over-bake them. Over-baking will cause them to become too crisp.
It's also important to store the cookies properly. Add a piece of white bread to the cookie tin, and that will keep your gingerbread cookies soft and fresh for up to 1 week.
For a more nutritious, fiber-rich version of these cookies, use white whole wheat flour. White whole wheat flour has the same nutritional profile as regular whole wheat flour, but it bakes up a bit more like all-purpose flour and yields a more tender cookie.
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark, firmly packed)
- 1/2 cup molasses (recommended: unsulphured blackstrap)
- 1 large egg
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar and molasses until the sugar is dissolved, and the mixture is well-combined. Remove from heat.
- Let the mixture cool 5 minutes, then pour into a large mixing bowl. Beat in the egg.
- Dump the flour, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice on top of the sugar mixture. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula (not an electric mixer) until you can't see any flour anymore. The dry ingredients should be well-incorporated, but do not overmix, or the gingerbread cookies will be tough.
- Divide the gingerbread cookie dough in half. Form each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 4 days.
- When ready to bake, remove gingerbread cookie dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with silpat mats (compare prices) or parchment paper.
- Place a little flour on the silpat mats or parchment paper (alternatively, flour a board generously). Unwrap the dough, and place the plastic wrap on top of the dough as a buffer to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough. Roll the gingerbread cookie dough to a thickness of 1/4- to 1/2-inch. Cut into desired shapes. Arrange the gingerbread cookies on the baking sheets, so that they are 1 inch apart.
- Bake the gingerbread cookies 7-14 minutes until just firm to the touch. The cooking time will depend on how thick you rolled the cookies. Decorate with colored sugars, sprinkles or icing.
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