Gingerbread cookies are a Christmas must have! These one have a nice buttery cookie base and all of the spices are likely to already be in your spice cabinet. They will make converts of those who don’t think they like these spicy little fellas!
These German gingerbread cookies are perfect for cutting out into shapes and decorating. We love them at Christmas time, but they are really fabulous any time of the year.
Cut them into gingerbread men and decorate them with royal icing for an extra special treat.
They have just the right mix of spice and sweet and a wonderful texture as well. Make a batch and see for yourself!
Let me tell you the story about how two paths converged to make these cookies. First, when I was searching for cookie cutters to make the cinnamon brown sugar cookies for Ro’s baby shower I found a goat cookie cutter in MiMi’s cutters.
My father-in-law loves gingerbread cookies and he has recently become a goat farmer, so I just knew I had to make him gingerbread goats! My cousin had the cutest moose cookie cutter that just needed to be made too.
On the other hand, we were at my aunt and uncle’s for dinner the other night when my cousin Emily came home for Christmas break. She said she wanted to bake some gingerbread cookies as she loved them and it was Christmas.
We left that night with a plan to bake cookies together while she was home from school. Sometimes things are just meant to be!
Little did I know the next morning I would wake up in a cookie baking mood. So I gave her a call and went to making the dough!
We ended up with a lot of sweet creations and a lot of giggles. We had the best time rolling, cutting and baking away.
They both came back the next day to help decorate them with royal icing. It was so much fun to bake and decorate with them!
I started using this recipe after a massive gingerbread cookie recipe search last year. I went through what seemed like hundreds of recipes before I settled on making this one.
I liked that it is a butter recipe. I don’t prefer to cook with shortening when I can avoid it.
I don’t mind if you do, I just tend not to as it is my preference to use butter. In actuality, I do use shortening sometimes myself.
Especially if I need to make frosting during the summer. For cookie dough, however, I tend to like to stick to butter as much as possible.
It also didn’t cause for any exotic ingredients I would only use once. A lot of gingerbread recipes use mace and that just isn’t something I would use for anything else.
After a few tweaks, we settled on this recipe. I was very happy with the way the cookies turned out.
I am sure you will be too. They are the perfect combination of spice and sweet.
They are sturdy but have a nice soft chew. Even people who didn’t think they liked gingerbread loved these cookies and went back for more!
What is the difference between lebkuchen and gingerbread?
While both are spicy cookies with a lot of the same flavors, lebkuchen uses honey while gingerbread uses molasses.
Where did gingerbread houses originate?
The tradition of decorating gingerbread houses began in Germany in the early 1800s.
More Great Christmas Cookie Recipes
If you like your cookies with a bit of spice, try making soft molasses spice cookies. They have similar flavors, but in a chewier drop cookie form.
Chocolate crinkle cookies are another popular option for the holidays. They have crisp edges and soft centers with a powdered sugar finish.
Check out the full collection of cookie recipes for more tasty ideas. Feel free to tell me about your favorite cookies in the comments below.
German Gingerbread Cookies
- 5½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon ginger
- 1½ teaspoons cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
- In your mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the molasses, egg and vanilla. Beat until uniform.
- Add in the dry ingredients about 1/3 at a time, stirring until just combined between additions.
- Once dough comes together, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Working with about 1/3 of the dough at a time, roll on a floured surface to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on cookies sheet.
- Bake for about 8 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets for a couple of minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
- Use royal icing to decorate and enjoy!