Monday, December 8, 2014

{soft and chewy} Gingerbread Men Cookies

Decorating gingerbread houses was just something you did on the holidays. The kids fought over the candy, the houses fell apart, the kids lost interest about halfway through, the kitchen looked like a tornado had hit and then we were left with half eaten gingerbread houses sitting on our counter top for a month. There are plenty of things I look forward to during the holidays, but decorating gingerbread houses just wasn't one of them. Last year I decided to shake things up. Instead of houses I decided that we should make gingerbread men cookies and it was the best decision ever. They are much less time consuming, the kids love being able to decorate their own and love even more that they can eat them. Unlike the gingerbread houses, these don't just look good, they actually taste amazing! This will definitely be a tradition we'll carry on and the kids are more than thrilled about that! A friend had mentioned that one of her neighbors would give these out as neighbor gifts, a cookie for each person in the family and then frosting and candies to go with it so that they can decorate their own. What an awesome idea!

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon,
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla then mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight (this is recommended, but I've also made them immediately and they've turned out great). Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes or until edges of cookies are just set. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack then cool completely before decorating.


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