For me, the Yuletide holidays are simply incomplete without a plate of gingerbread men cookies on the table. They part of tradition, and their presence brings back memories of childhood. If you want to make your own gingerbread men, just follow these instructions. These cookies are so easy to make, you can even let children help you.
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses (spray the cup with non-stick vegetable spray to prevent the molasses from sticking to the cup)
1 large egg
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 Tbsp. milk or light cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Electric mixer with paddle
1. First, make the confectioners frosting. Beat 1/2 cup butter until it becomes smooth. Add the vanilla extract.
2. Put the mixer on low speed. Add the powdered sugar little by little.
3. Add the milk. Switch to high speed. Beat the mixture until your frosting become fluffy and light. If you want colored frosting, you can add food coloring drop by drop at this point, while you continue blending.
4. Set your frosting aside.
5. Now sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
6. Using the electric mixer, beat together the sugar and 1/2 cup butter until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add the molasses and egg, and beat the mixture again until everything is well combined.
7. Add the flour mixture into the liquid mixture, then beat again until everything is thoroughly mixed.
8. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Wrap each separately in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for two hours or even overnight, until it becomes firm.
9. Preheat the oven to 177°C (350°F). Place rack at the center of the oven.
10. Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Then cut out the cookies using a gingerbread cutter.
11. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put your cookies onto the backing sheet, atop the parchment paper. Make sure you leave at least 1 cm space per cookie.
12. Bake the cookies until they are firm and the edges begin turning brown. This normally takes about 8-12 minutes.
13. Take the cookies out of the oven and leave them on the baking sheets for about a minute to let them cool. Then, you can transfer them to the wire rack to let them cool completely.
14. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Decorate the gingerbread man as desired.
This mixture makes about three dozen cookies, depending on how big your cookie cutter is.