Gingerbread Cookies

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gingerbread cookies | apt 2b baking co

My favorite gingerbread cookies have been up on the site, but a little hidden within another post, for a long time. So, this year I decided to give them a little refresh and some new fun photos. These can be made into cookie ornaments too! Just make sure to bake them for an extra minute or two, until they are crisp and dark brown, and don’t forget to poke a hole in the cookies before baking. I love the contrast of the deep golden cookies and white icing so I tend to ice these guys really simply with lines and dots of royal icing and lots of sparkly sanding sugar.


Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

makes about 3 dozen 3-inch cookies

adapted from Simply Recipes

3 1/4 cups (415g) all-purpose flour


3/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger


2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg

1/4  teaspoon finely ground black pepper 

1/4  teaspoon allspice


1 teaspoon kosher salt


14 tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup (110g) packed dark brown sugar 

1 large egg


1/2 cup unsulfured molasses 


In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and spices together. 

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then the molasses and mix until well combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling.


Heat oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Working with 1/2 of the dough at a time roll the dough 1/8-1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin roll. Use a cookie cutter or stencil to cut out desired shapes then place them on the prepared baking sheets. For cookie ornaments, use a skewer to poke a hole through the top of the cookies before baking.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies have just barely begun to brown. For cookie ornaments bake the cookies until they are lightly browned all over and firm to the touch. Cool the cookies on the sheet pans for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack
to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

Royal Icing

1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted

6 tablespoons pasteurized egg whites

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch salt

For the Icing

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine all of the ingredients. Whisk on low speed until the sugar is moistened, then turn the mixer up to medium and whisk until smooth and glossy. 

For piping lines and shapes you’ll want thick icing. When you lift the whisk out of the bowl the icing should flow in thick ribbons that will hold their shape when they fall into the bowl below. Add a bit more confectioner’s sugar to the mixture if necessary to achieve this texture. Fill a piping bag with the icing and have fun!

For flooding and complete coverage of the cookies you’ll want thinner icing that holds its shape for a few seconds, then melts into the icing in the bowl. Add a bit more water, one teaspoon at a time to achieve this texture. Color the icing as desired.

Use the icing right away or store in an airtight container, with a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface to prevent a skin from forming, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Stir until smooth before using. Color the icing as desired.,


Royal Icing Tips and Tricks

Fit a piping bag with a small round tip #1 or #2 to pipe lines and shapes and/or another piping bag with a slightly larger tip #3 or #4 for flooding. Fill each bag with the corresponding icing and have fun! Practice on a piece of parchment paper if you are nervous, but truly if you think you messed up - just cover your cookies with sprinkles! 

For the trees in this post I used the flooding icing to draw a line around the border of each cookie, then filled it in completely and sprinkled to my heart’s content. After the trees had dried slightly I went back and used the piping icing to draw the trunks. 

You can also use a spoon to cover the cookies with thinner flooding icing or dip them, have fun! Don’t worry to much about it!

If you are adding sanding sugar or sprinkles to your iced cookies you’ll want to add them just after you pipe the icing. Royal icing will develop a dry skin very quickly, so have your sprinkles at the ready.

If you’d like to pipe lines that sit on top on top of flooded cookies, let the flooding icing dry all of the way or the lines will melt into the flooded icing.

In any case make sure to let the cookies dry all of the way, uncovered, before stacking or packaging, I like to leave mine overnight.

gingerbread cookies | apt 2b baking co

Soft Gingerbread Tiles with Rum Butter Glaze from Sweet

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It's no surprise that everything from Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s new book Sweet is craveworthy, but I am obsessed with these stamped gingerbread. I have made them at least 5 times this holiday season, and I’ll probably make them again if I get the chance. They are perfect Christmas cookies - beautiful, tasty, easy to make in large quantities, and they taste great after a few days at room temperature.

I do add a bit more spice than is called for in the recipe (which is reflected below) because I like a little extra cardamom and allspice in my gingerbread. I also add a pinch of salt to the glaze because I think it helps the buttery flavor pop. t's safe to say that these are going in the permanent Christmas cookie rotation. 

A note about cookie stamps: The one I use is hand carved and pretty similar to the ones available here. Happy Baking!


Did you know I am teaching a food and photography workshop in PARIS (!) with Olaiya Land this Spring? There are only a few spots left. Click through to learn more and reserve your spot.  See you in Paris!


Soft Gingerbread Tiles with Rum Butter Glaze

lightly adapted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

EDIT 12/21/18 - I have gotten several comments that the dough was dry and crumbly and when I went to make these again this year I had the same issue. I added another 2T of butter which seemed tofu the problem so I have adjusted the recipe to reflect that change. If you would like to try the original recipe as written use 6 Tablespoons (85g) butter. I also like to use 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, and 1/4 teaspoon allspice to the mix.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter at room temperature

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90g) dark brown sugar

1/4 cup (100g) blackstrap molasses

1 large egg yolk

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (235g) all purpose flour

1 tablespoon dutch process cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Rum Butter Glaze

2/3 cup (80g) confectioner’s sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and warm

1 tablespoon dark rum (or lemon juice)

1 teaspoon warm water

pinch salt

Place the butter, sugar and molasses in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg yolk.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients to the butter and molasses. Once the mix comes together, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.


Roll out the dough so it’s about 1/4-inch thick (no need to chill it first, but the dough can be wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge for up to two days before baking). Preheat oven 325F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and set aside.


Dip the cookie stamps in a small bowl of flour, shake off any excess and then press them firmly into the dough, one at a time, to create a deep imprint. Using a round biscuit cutter that is slightly larger than the pattern, cut out the pieces of imprinted gingerbread.


Transfer the cookies to the lined baking trays about 1-inch apart. Re-roll the dough and continue to stamp and cut until all the dough is used up. Bake for 9-10 mins, rotating the trays halfway through, until firm to the touch. They will continue to firm as they cool.


Prepare the glaze while the biscuits are in the oven, as it needs to be brushed on while they are still warm. Sift the icing sugar and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the melted butter, rum (or lemon juice) and water and mix with a spoon until smooth. The glaze will thicken slightly if it sits around, so stir through a little more warm water if you need to – it should be the consistency of runny honey.


Remove the biscuits from the oven, leave to rest for 5 mins, then brush or dab the glaze all over with a pastry brush. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Biscuits will keep for up to five days in an airtight container.

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