What could be a more appropriate way to start off Sugar Rush than to introduce a gingerbread recipe.

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread is a classic Christmas flavor. I love it. But I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of thin and crispy gingerbread cookies. I’ve always wanted a gingerbread cookie similar in texture to a really good sugar cookie.

This recipe fits the bill. These cookies are packed with gingerbread flavor but the texture has a delicious and surprising softness and chewiness that keeps me going back for just one more gingerbread man. The dough requires chilling and freezing in order for the cookies to keep their shape, but the time invested is well worth it. And as a sidenote, the cookies are egg-free in case that happens to be an allergy you are working around.

Of course my kids got the biggest kick out of biting off their gingerbread man’s arm or leg or head. They thought it was hilarious. I just concentrated on stuffing every bit into my mouth.

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen gingerbread men

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (15 ounces) flour
  • ¾ cup packed (5 ¼ ounces) dark brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons butter softened to room temperature (but not warm!), cut into 12 pieces
  • ¾ cup light or dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1. With an electric mixer, stir together the flour, brown sugar, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and add the butter pieces. Mix at medium-low speed until the mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and with the mixer running, gradually add the molasses and milk; mix until the dough is evenly moistened about 20 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.
  2. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and divide it in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough ¼ inch thick between 2 large sheets of parchment or wax paper. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment or wax paper, stack the dough on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or overnight.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
  4. Remove one dough sheet from the freezer and place on the counter. Peel off the top parchment or wax paper sheet. Gently cut the dough into 5-inch gingerbread people or 3-inch gingerbread cookies, transferring the shapes to the prepared baking sheets with a wide metal spatula and spacing them ¾ inch apart. Set the scraps aside. Repeat with the remaining dough until the baking sheets are full. Because flour is not added during rolling, dough scraps can be rolled and cut as many times as necessary.
  5. Bake the cookies until set in the centers and the dough barely retains and imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 9 minutes. Do not overbake!! Cool the cookies on the sheets 2 minutes, then remove the cookies with a wide metal spatula to a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Gather the scraps; repeat the rolling, cutting and baking. Frost as desired (I used a ziploc bag filled with simple white icing).
  6. Store soft gingerbread in a wide, shallow airtight container or tin with a sheet of parchment paper between the cookie layers. These cookies are best eaten within one week.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/sugar-rush-1-thick-and-chewy-gingerbread-cookies/

Recipe Source: adapted from The New Best Recipe

68 Responses to Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

  1. Jelli Bean says:

    I also really enjoy soft cookies, so I´m sure this recipe would be perfect. Unfortunately, I can´t head straight to my pantry to bake these up, as I do not have molasses around (yet!), but this recipe is going directly to my files. Thanks for sharing.

  2. ~Judy~ says:

    Sounds like a winner to me!

  3. Anonymous says:

    These will be perfect for my kids to decorate and take to their friends. I was going to have them take sugar cookies, but these are much more fun. I agree, a soft and chewy gingerbread cookie is the only way to go. I can’t wait for the next eleven recipes. -Liz K.

  4. Sara says:

    Mmm, gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite Christmas cookies because that’s the only time I make them!

  5. grace says:

    i always eat the limbs first, then the head, then the body, unless the head has the most glaze, and then i save it for last. :)

  6. The Double Dipped Life says:

    These sound divine! I have all the ingredients…sounds like a good afternoon kid activity!

  7. Debbie says:

    I love gingerbread men and decorating them. Mine always turn out too hard. I’ll have to try these! They look sooo good!

  8. Cammee says:

    Oh Sugar Rush! Bring it on, baby! These Sound wonderful. I’m with you on the hard crunchy cookies, not for me. I’m taking dinner to a friend tonight, this just might be the treat!

  9. Sallie My Sister's Kitchen says:

    I had this bookmarked in my cookbook at home for when my nephew comes over to make gingerbread men. Looks delicious!

  10. Melanie Anne says:

    Wow–I needed this recipe!! The gingerbread I have tried in the past has been dissapointing! Fun–I love your sugar rush! Merry Christmas Mel!

  11. Jenni and Christian says:

    would these be good in shapes to make gingerbread houses too.. or are they too soft for that?

  12. Pat says:

    I want to make gender-neutral gingerpeople cookies for the local ACLU holiday party. These will be great! I don’t suppose you have a recipe for feminist frosting?

  13. Leslie says:

    I am so excited! I lost my old recipe that I loved and have been sad that other recipes were not so great. Am I reading it right that there are no eggs?

  14. comfycook says:

    This looks delicious. I have discovered the joys of ginger in cookies and cakes.

  15. Melanie says:

    Jenni and Christian – these cookies are definitely too soft for gingerbread houses. If you want a fantastic recipe for gingerbread houses (or sleds like we make in our house), email me at mykitchencafe at gmail dot com and I’ll send you my tried-and-true recipe.

  16. Melanie says:

    Pat – haha, very funny!

  17. Melanie says:

    Leslie, you are correct, there are no eggs.

  18. Katy ~ says:

    Don’t you just love gingerbread cutouts. I think of all the Christmas cookies, this is one that defines the season. They are adorable!

  19. Kandi V says:

    I was excited to make these, and my kids were excited to eat them. So imagine my dissappointment when I pulled them out of the fridge and they were too soft to be cut! They fell apart as I slid my spatula underneath to lift them! We are bummed! Any ides on what happened? Thanks!

  20. Melanie says:

    Kandi V – I’m sorry these didn’t work out for you. If you haven’t thrown away the dough yet, just freeze or refrigerate again. My guess is that the dough wasn’t cold enough to cut the dough. If you refrigerated the dough, try freezing it next time. The dough needs to be quite firm to cut out into shapes. Good luck!

  21. Melanie says:

    Email from my Aunt Marilyn:…..loved the ginger bread cookies! of course I had to make them in the last 30 minutes I had left before I had to be out the door. They were delicious.

  22. Charlene says:

    I think I’m going to try making these later, mine came out hard and crunchy. I like chewy cookies better so I can’t wait to give these a try.

    Definitely coming back to look at more cookie recipes later.

    thanks

  23. Karin says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I tried these and they were delicious. I am never happy with how my cookies turn out-it’s very sad. These were easy to work with and turn out perfect.

  24. Melanie says:

    Karin – I’m so glad these cookies were a hit. Thank you so much for letting me know! I’m glad they turned out perfectly.

  25. Ruby says:

    I made these and substituted 1/4 cup flour for oat flour and they turned out soooo chewey. Thanks for the recipe!

  26. Melanie says:

    Ruby – oat flour? Wonderful idea. Thank you for letting me know you liked these!

  27. Melanie says:

    Sara – I love this idea of sandwiching the cookies together! Thanks for letting me know that you liked this recipe.

  28. Andrea says:

    I’ve made the dough and am going to bake these with my girlfriends tomorrow morning! Yay for Christmas and yay for delicious gingerbread men recipes posted by Melanie! Merry Christmas!!

  29. Andrea says:

    Okay, so I made these and they were a hit! Wowzers, they blew my socks off. I love that they were so soft and not too spicy. Best recipe for gingerbread ever!!!! Thanks!

  30. Anissa says:

    I made a big batch of this dough a few days ago and froze it in the rolled out sheets like you suggested and then covered the whole tray in seran wrap so it would stay fresh through the week. Worked like a charm. The cookies were baked today and they are OH SO TASTY! I’d definitely err on the thicker side when rolling out the dough to make it easier to cut and transfer to the tray. I also would only bake mine for about 7 minutes.
    And yes, I’m making gingerbread men cookies in September… they are for my kids Candy Land birthday party this coming weekend and of course, we had to have gingerbread men to decorate! :) Thanks for another great go-to recipe!

  31. Tristan says:

    Mel,
    Do you have a recipe for gingerbread house-worthy cookie dough? My daughter needs to make one for school and I would much rather log some quality kitchen time then buy something pre-made! Thanks so much for any help- Tristan

  32. Mel says:

    Tristan – I do, actually! We make these gingerbread sleds every year and the dough is great for gingerbread houses:
    http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2007/12/gingerbread-sleds.html

  33. Terri says:

    These cookies are fabulous!! I’m not a gingerbread fan…NORMALLY….but these, well, I ate three before they were even decorated!! My 11 yr old is decorating them as I write this…and I’m enjoying a cup of hot tea, eating ANOTHER cookie, and relaxing!! Thanks Mel!!!

  34. Loralee says:

    Best eaten within one week – are you kidding me? These will certainly disappear the minutes they hit the serving plate! Can’t wait to make them….

  35. Tristan says:

    Thanks Mel!!

  36. Terri says:

    Hmmm…made these cookies 2 days ago….they were gone by that night (hey, I didn’t eat them ALL…I have four growing boys in this house!)….so I’m making more today…except it will be a double batch!! My husband can’t stop talking about them, and he’s like me, could care less about gingerbread before!! They ARE that amazing!! :)

  37. Stacy says:

    My family loves the hard crispy Peparkakor gingerbread men, I love a chewy cookie but don’t want to go the effort of making another cutout, could you just roll this dough into balls, maybe then in some sugar and bake? Would they turn out the same?

  38. Mel says:

    Stacy – I’ve never tried them that way but it’s worth an attempt. I don’t know how they’ll spread/flatten as they bake so I’d start with smaller-sized dough balls.

  39. […] Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookiesfrom Mel’s Kitchen Cafe  […]

  40. Cathy says:

    Made these last night with my granddaughter and daughter. They turned out soo good.. I rolled them out a little thicker and put the dough in the frig overnight rolled out between the parchment paper. LOVE THIS!!!

  41. Shannon says:

    We wanted to make these for an evening treat, and I was not about to leave them in the fridge overnight, so I’m glad to know the freezer trick. I wonder if that would work for sugar cookies. ? These are super yummy straight out of the oven and good cold too. My father-in-law loves gingerbread; I think I might move up to favorite d-i-l status if I make these for Christmas!

  42. […] asked to make gingerbread cookies, so we did. We used Mel’s Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies, cause she’s never let me down. Let me preface by saying I don’t like gingerbread […]

  43. Tyler says:

    You may have ended my search for an egg-less gingerbread cookie recipe. I have fond memories of cooking class in junior high school making an egg-less dough….then taste testing it before baking. I only wish I had made digital copies of all the recipes I got from my teacher Miss Munzer. I am still on the search for the clover rolls recipe. They were so good!! Now have to search for molasses in Japan.

  44. Caitlin says:

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate this recipe, I made them for the first time almost a year ago. Before I made these, I never had any luck making rolled cookies. But these are phenomenal, my children love them and I have been making them all year (it seems in our house gingerbread men are just as delicious in July!). I am making another batch today. Just recently I started doing before and after school childcare for a fellow mom I know and there has been a little tension in this busy house! Gingerbread men to the rescue (and to put a smile on four little faces)

  45. Debbie Johnson says:

    I absolutely love these cookies. I make them every christmas to put in my gift baskets.
    They are the perfect gingerbread cookie!

  46. Rita says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for posting both your gingerbread recipes! My daughter has an egg allergy, so we’re always on the look out for new yummy Christmas treats to make. I’m sure they’ll become family favorites along with your other great recipes that I’ve tried!

  47. Laura says:

    Hi Mel! I tried these today and I don’t think they were cold enough. I’m going to try them again tomorrow. Do you have a recipe for your simple white icing? Thanks! Laura

    • Mel says:

      Hi Laura – I just mix powdered sugar with a bit of milk until it is thick but still able to pipe out of the corner of a ziploc bag without running all over the place. Sometimes I add a touch of vanilla, too.

  48. Suzanne says:

    Hi Mel! I’m wondering if my particular type/brand of molasses is extra strong b/c I made the same chewy gingersnaps my sister made and hers turned out much lighter in color and less molasses tasting. Accordingly, I’m worried about using the full amount of molasses in these cookies, but really want to try them, do you know if it would affect the cookies much if I dialed back the amount of molasses and if I should add something in it’s place?

    • Mel says:

      Suzanne – are you using blackstrap molasses? That kind will definitely have a darker appearance and much stronger flavor. I usually use plain old unsulphured molasses.

      • gerri says:

        Thanks for sharing your recipe. I have been trying to find the perfect soft gingerbread recipe. It’s our family tradition to gather around and decorate gingerbread men. Ill let you know how they turn out. I usually use Grandma’s brand molasses is this ok?

  49. Suzanne says:

    The bottle doesn’t say blackstrap molasses, it just says Wholesome Sweeteners organic molasses unsulphured.

  50. Stephanie says:

    Suzanne, I too was worried about so much molasses, and about so much spice. This was my first gingerbread making experience, but I could not be happier with the result! Not too strong flavored, good and chewy. Great recipe, Melanie!

  51. MamaMags says:

    As I started making these my husband (aka Cookie Monster) said ‘just so you know I’m not a huge fan of gingerbread’- well after they came out of the oven he had a change if heart, ‘you can make those again anytime!’ So they have all been devoured and I’m doubling it for the Christmas batch! Thanks for the recipe.

  52. Sonya says:

    These cookies. I have no words. They’re amazing! So good in fact, I must have missed the memo that gingerbread is only for Xmas (cause I just baked another batch the other night). And can I tell you a secret? When my husband and kids aren’t looking, I totally sandwich vanilla ice cream between two cookies. Whoa. If they knew what mom was doing those cookies would be gone in a heartbeat!

    As always, thanks so much from Canada!
    Sonya :)

    • Mel says:

      Sonya – you sound like me; known to do crazy things like putting ice cream in between two cookies when no one is looking. :) Glad you loved these!

  53. Jordan Johnson says:

    Do you happen to know if these freeze well after being baked? Thanks!

  54. Megan says:

    3 cups is 24 oz.
    3/4 cup is 6 oz.

  55. Tina says:

    I made these with my 2 kids and they were a huge hit! My son has an egg allergy, and I can’t thank you enough for something he can decorate that is also delicious! And these are just plain Delicious! We made not only gingerbread men, but also snowmen, trees, and snowflakes. The entire batch was gone in 3 days, my husband is requesting more this weekend, he says it’s he best cookie we’ve ever made.

  56. Jasmine Toor says:

    First eggless cookie recipe that i can truly say you do not miss the egg! Very flavourful, perfectly chewy and soft…so good! I followed the directions to a T and got perfect results. I added white chocolate chips and it went well. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  57. Lisa says:

    These sound great! I am wondering if subbing coconut oil for the butter would work. What do you think?

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