You have to try these soft gingerbread cut out cookies with icing! They are nothing like the crispy, stale gingerbread cookies from a bag from the store. They're so addictive you'll make them every Christmas!
- 1 cup Shortening (don't sub butter)
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Molasses
- 2 Tbs. Vinegar
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Cloves
- 5 cups Flour
- 1/3 cup Warm Water
- 1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp Clear vanilla (regular vanilla is fine but your icing won't be as white)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or lightly spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar.
- Add the molasses, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix well.
- Add the baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Mix well.
- Stir in 3 cups of the flour.
- Add the water; mix well.
- Add the 2 remaining cups of flour.
- Turn the cookie dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. You can sprinkle the dough with a little flour if it is sticking to your rolling pin.
- Cut out the gingerbread men and place them on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
- Make icing by beating a little vanilla and milk into the powdered sugar a little at a time until it's perfectly smooth with a consistency a little thicker than syrup.
- Ice the gingerbread men a while they are still just slightly warm.
- Leave them on your countertop until the icing is set. This will take an hour to two hours.
- Test by lightly touching the icing top. It should not be soft or squishy.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container with wax paper in between the layers.
- If you do find that your gingerbread people are spreading too much when baking. Chill the cut outs in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking. I live in a colder, dryer area so I've never had a problem with them spreading however, if you live in a hot, humid area you may want to test bake a cookie first to see if you need to chill them first.
- Shortening - DO NOT substitute butter for the shortening. The shortening is what stops these cookies from spreading. You could substitute a very solid coconut oil however you may need to increase the flour a little and chill the dough for 20 minutes before rolling out.
- Molasses - I recommend going with the strength of flavor you like best. If you like dark molasses or blackstrap molasses that's fine. I personally like a lighter version. I like Grandma's Brand best.
- Don't overcook or these cookies won't be soft.
- If you do happen to overcook them go ahead and ice them like normal. Store them overnight in an airtight container. The icing will soften them up.
- Ice cookies when they are still a little warm. It makes the icing spread easier.
Keywords: gingerbread men, soft gingerbread cookies, classic gingerbread cookies, soft gingerbread cut out cookies