It turns out that my mom was definitely right when she told me as a child that my tastes would change over time.  I remember as a kid thinking gingerbread cookies looked absolutely delicious – and then I tasted one, and absolutely hated it.  Maybe it was just different than what I was expecting, or the flavors were a bit strong for me then, but I’ve steered clear of them ever since.  Then this past weekend, I had my yearly baking marathon for holiday goody packages and decided to give gingerbread a second chance, mainly because I thought they would help round out the packages and keep well for the ones being shipped off to friends and family.

I am so, so glad I tried these because they might just be my new favorite holiday cookie.  The wonderful spiced flavor and the perfectly chewy texture seem to embody the holiday season in a cookie.  Not to mention, they are very pretty!  I love the way they look with simple royal icing scrolls and a few sprinkles.  While this is certainly not necessary, it definitely made them much more attractive.  The only thing to keep in mind is that the cookies spread and puff quite a bit during baking, so you don’t want to use a cookie cutter with too much detail.  These snowflake shapes looked very different before I popped them in the oven.  Even though I didn’t like gingerbread as a kid, Andrew definitely approved of these, and I’m sure they’ll be part of my holiday baking traditions for years to come.


  • Prep 10-15 minutes
  • Cook 10 minutes
  • Yield 3-4 dozen cookies


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg


  • 01

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices to combine; set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the molasses and egg until combined.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Place the cookie shapes onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.  Decorate as desired.