Cookies are my favorite part of the holiday season and this year I went old school (like, 13th century old school) with a classic gingerbread recipe. As I methodically rolled out the spiced dough, stamped out the individual stars, delicately placed each singular cookie on the baking sheet, I eventually realized I would have roughly 8,000 cookies to give away. Oh boy. Luckily these little stars are bite sized and can be bundled in a festive gift bag or box to pass out to your family, friends and co-workers. The royal icing hardens so don't worry about contact with other cookies messing up your lovely designs. Bonus: your house will smell amazing as the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove heat up in your oven.
For the Gingerbread Cookies
- 3 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 3/4 cups Butter, softened
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup Molasses
- 1 whole Egg
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
For the Royal Icing
- 1 egg white, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1-1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
For the Gingerbread Cookies:
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
- Drizzle in the molasses, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl a couple of times to make sure it's evenly combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each addition.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 4 days.
- When you're ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 F.
- divide it in half and roll out each half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Cut out shapes of your choosing (I used stars!) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of cutters used, until the cookies are baked through but still soft. Remove with a spatula and allow to cool completely.
For the Royal Icing:
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the egg white with the lemon juice until combined
- Add the sifted confectioners sugar and beat on a low speed until combined and smooth
- Transfer icing to a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe small decorations on the cookies
- Royal icing will harden when exposed to air, speed up this process by placing cookies in fridge to set.