Classic gingerbread

Prep 20 min
Plus Refrigeration Time: 30 minutes
Makes 95 (2-inch/5-cm) cookies

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Ingredients

3/4 cup
unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup
lightly packed brown sugar
1
egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup
3 cups
all-purpose flour
1 tbsp
ground ginger
2 tsp
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp

Instructions

  • In a bowl, using a wooden spoon or electric mixer, beat butter with brown sugar until blended, at least 2 minutes. Beat in egg. Stir in molasses. In a large mixing bowl, using a fork, stir 2 cups (500 mL) flour with ginger, cinnamon, allspice, salt and baking soda until evenly blended. Make a well in centre, then pour in molasses mixture. Stir until all flour is absorbed. Stir in remaining flour, 1/4 cup (50 mL) at a time, until dough is no longer sticky but still soft. Divide dough into 4 portions. Form into balls. Wrap or place in resealable plastic bags. Flatten dough slightly and seal. Refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 week, or freeze.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease baking sheets with shortening or vegetable oil, or coat with cooking spray. Roll out 1 ball of dough until 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) for thick cookies or 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) for thinner cookies. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Place on baking sheets.
  • Bake in centre of 350F (180C) oven until deep brown around edges and firm to the touch, about 10 minutes for thick cookies or 7 minutes for thinner cookies that are about 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Larger cut-outs require more baking time. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Remove baked cookies to racks to cool. Cool sheets slightly before adding more cookies to be baked. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container in a cool dry place. They will keep well for at least 1 month.

We had delightful gingerbread men in mind for this recipe, so we’ve kept the spicing mellow to appeal to all ages of bakers. To boost the flavour, check out our peppery version–an unexpected treat for the cocktail hour.

Chocolate gingerbread

Stir 8 ounces (250 g) coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate, about 1 cup (250 mL), into finished dough before rolling out.

Candied ginger gingerbread

Stir 1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped candied or crystallized ginger into flour mixture. Proceed as above.

Orange liqueur gingerbread

Stir 1/2 cup (125 mL) orange liqueur into molasses mixture and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely grated orange peel into flour mixture. This dough is soft, so it must be refrigerated until very cold before rolling out.

Peppery gingerbread

Stir 1 teaspoon (5 mL) cracked or coarsely ground black pepper into flour mixture, then proceed as above. Cut into small cookies and press a pecan into top of each before baking.

Nutrition

Calories 39
Protein 0.5 g
Carbohydrates 5.8 g
Fat 1.5 g
Fibre 0.1 g
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