Making My Gingerbread Man a “Softy”……The search for a Soft Moist Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
I love anything with ginger in it and I definitely love moist gingerbread warm from the oven with a huge dollop of whipped cream on it. Yummmmmmmmmmm….. but I am not all that crazy about hard gingerbread cookies. I’m a soft cookie fan and most gingerbread recipes I tried always turned out hard and crispy. Great to use as ornaments but not what I wanted to eat. I assumed it was the recipe, so I tried a couple of different recipes that were for soft moist gingerbread cookies but they came out crumbly and were very difficult to roll out for cutting with the cookie cutter.
So I made it my mission to find a soft moist gingerbread cookies recipe that would give me the texture and softness I wanted and would hold together for the cookie cutter process. With a little research, I found that that the problem wasn’t so much the recipes as it was technique. In fact, I found a recipe that would work for both the soft, chewy cookies that I like to eat and the crispier version that I like to use as decorations. The only difference was how I processed the dough. If I want a thin, crispy cookie I roll out the dough 1/8″ thick before processing rather than 1/4″ that I do for the chewier version. I use different cooking temperatures and times for the two different styles also. But other than those differences, the recipe is the same so it is possible to make both types of cookies from the same batch of dough.
|Soft Moist Gingerbread Cookies|| || |
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. cloves
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ tsp. baking soda
- 6 oz. unsalted butter, cut into cubes & slightly softened
- ¾ cup molasses
- 2 tbs. of milk, may need a little more dependent of dryness of flour
- Put flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle beater.
- Stir dry ingredients together on low speed.
- Add butter pieces and mix at low speed until ingredients resemble fine meal.
- With mixer running, slowly add molasses and milk just until dough is evenly moistened. Then increase speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface.
- Divide dough in half.
- Place the dough between two large sheets of parchment paper.
- Roll out each half to ¼"thickness.
- While still between the parchment paper, stack the sheets of dough on a cookie sheet.
- Freeze until firm. This will take about 20 minutes. If you want you can refrigerate the dough overnight. If refrigerating make sure it is for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, while preheating oven to 350F.
- Remove cookie dough from freezer.
- Peel off top layer of parchment paper and then lay the paper back down on the dough.
- Carefully turn the dough over so that the bottom becomes the top and gently peel away that layer of parchment paper and discard.
- Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters and using a large spatula, place them on the parchment lined cookie sheets. Keep them about 1" apart because they will spread a little in the cooking process.
- Bake them for 8 to 11 minutes, I turn the sheet front to back half way through the cooking process so they cook evenly. I test them when I am ready to take them out by pressing my finger lightly on the center of the cookie. If the cookie barely retains a slight indent, they are done. Do not over bake.
- Let the cookies rest on the sheet for 2 minutes and then remove with spatula and let cool on wire racks. Decorate cooled cookies with Royal Icing.
- Yield is difficult to predict as it is dependent on the size of the cookie cutters you use. This recipe makes about 30 3" cookies.