Gingerbread People + 64 cookies and candies that make perfect edible gifts
This Gingerbread people cookies recipe isn’t only perfect for your own munching, they make for lovely and delectable gifts too!
How long has it been since you made gingerbread people cookies? Have you actually ever made them? I do remember making gingerbread houses with my mom when I was growing up, and I’m sure we made gingerbread people, too, a few times. But I really could not remember making any on my own as an adult. Last week though, I stumbled onto a beautifully photographed post that literally made me clear my afternoon schedule to embark on the project. You see, during the holidays, not only do I love baking, but I also love craft projects. Gingerbread people—aren’t they the perfect combination of the two activities? I simply couldn’t resist.
I think cookies are the perfect edible gift, and being that there’s just a few days left before Christmas, you should consider making some, too, instead of pushing through the mall crowds to find last-minute gifts. Pick and bake three or four recipes and then package some of each cookie variety in one box. If you want, you can even include one or all the recipes in the package so the recipients can reproduce the cookies they preferred. Not only does this serve as a heartfelt gift—you made the effort to bake it yourself—but it’s one that is bound to make your loved ones smile.
I searched through my archives, my bookmarks, and the recipes I saved from my favorite blogs to gather a hundred cookie recipes that can be made ahead and keep well. Now turn the oven on and get baking!
Make the cookies: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, if you’re using a handheld mixer), cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg, and water. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and all spices together. Transfer to the bowl with the butter and sugar mixture and mix to incorporate. Dump dough on a clean countertop and gather into a flat ball. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes, or until the dough is firm enough to roll.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to 1/5-inch (0.5-cm) thickness. Cut out shapes using a floured cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Reroll scraps and keep cutting until there is no dough left.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are firm. (Do not overbake the cookies or they will become too crunchy and tough). Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Make the icing: Whisk the sugar and 2 tbsp (30 ml) milk together in a small bowl. Add more milk if needed, until you reach a thick but pourable consistency. Mix in food coloring, if desired.
Transfer the icing into a piping bag and decorate the cookies with icing and sprinkles, according to your inspiration. After decorating, let the cookies rest flat on wire racks until the icing hardens.
Store the cookies in airtight containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the cookies in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to a month.