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Gingerbread Cookies! Gingerbread Men, Cats, Bears, and even….well, you’ll see.

It’s already Christmas Eve so I have to sneak this recipe in right under the wire. But it’s never too late for gingerbread.

I make two kinds of gingerbread – soft, Gingerbread Date Cookies and these crispier, cut out, traditional Gingerbread cookies from my mom’s recipe.

These really take me back to my childhood when we made a variety of sugar cookies and always had a gingerbread man hanging on the Christmas tree.

That was clearly before I owned a small orange fluffy gingerbread eating cat…

That Gingerbread Man is no longer hanging on my tree.

Here’s what you need:

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Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Crisco Shortening, Molasses, Egg, Cinnamon, Ginger, and Cloves

Click here for a Gingerbread Cookies Shopping List

Also some cookie cutters…

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I decided gingerbread palm trees would be a little much. Florida Christmas is already weird enough. It was 85 yesterday…

My friend Wes gave me this handy dandy gadget for measuring solids and liquids. It’s great for things like Crisco that are a pain to get into and out of a standard measuring cup.

Simply find the solid measuring scale, adjust the cup to the desired ½ cup size, and fill with Crisco shortening.

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Then you push the bottom piece up and the crisco all comes cleanly out in one smooth move. Pretty slick.

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Then you can fill it on the liquid measurement side with ½ cup of molasses and add it to the bowl.

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Of course you can use your standard measuring cups too.

So we have ½ cup of shortening, ½ cup of molasses, and ½ cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix until well blended and smooth…

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then add 1 egg and mix again until incorporated.

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In a separate bowl, sift together 2½ cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda,

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1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon ground cloves.

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Sift, sift, sift.

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Then with the mixer on the lowest speed, add the flour to the bowl and mix to combine.

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This dough will be quite dry and stiff. Don’t worry if it is a little crumbly.

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Pour the dough out onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper and use your hands to gather it up into a ball. Fold the paper over and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour.

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When your dough has thoroughly chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into 2 chunks. I like to work with the dough half at a time just to keep it from getting too warm and sticky.

Lightly flour a baking mat or clean work surface and your rolling pin and roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick.

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Then cut out whatever shapes you like. I have 3 sizes of gingerbread men going on here.

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Parchment paper is your best friend for these (and most other) cookies. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and your cookies are guaranteed not to stick.

Use a spatula to carefully move the cut out gingerbread cookies to the parchment lined tray.

Gather up the scraps and re-roll and re-cut them until you’ve used all your dough.

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Gingerbread cats are probably no surprise but how about some gingerbread hedgehogs???

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If you don’t have a gingerbread eating cat and want to hang one on your tree, make a hole in the top of the cookie with a drinking straw before baking.

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Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until puffy and slightly golden.

This makes about 3 dozen cookies depending on the size and shape of your cookie cutters.

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If you’re good at piping, you can certainly put some icing in a bag and decorate these even further.

I stink at piping and also tend to prefer them plain.

A gingerbread cat for the ginger cat?

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Merry Christmas from beneath the tree!

Merry Christmas from beneath the tree!

Here’s the recipe:  (Christmas cats not included)

Gingerbread Cookies

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3 Responses to “Gingerbread Cookies”

  1. smart cat says:

    Oh yes! I do know about cats’ inappropriate eating habits…..we don’t even put candy canes on the tree anymore!
    Merry Christmas and thanks for all the great recipes!

  2. gary rith says:

    a gingerbread eating cat…! happy holidays 🙂 and hey, the Nutcracker can be a distant memory for another 11 months 🙂

  3. Liz says:

    Nice Christmas Tree!!! Ginger Bread Cookies I believe originated in Germany/Austria where the actual Christmas Tree originated! Your tree with the cookies hung on it and the nice glass ornaments, especially bells, looks extremely European! Except there they do not have colored lights. They use white electric candles these days, used to be real wax candles! And the most beautiful Christmas Song of all “Silent Night, Holy Night” also originated in Europe. Beats “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Baby”!

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