Christmas cookies – Gingerbread men

I’m having so much fun this year, getting ready for Christmas with my little elf (Ashlyn) by my side!  She’s really into all of the preparations this year, and she loves to bake, so I thought it would be a lot of fun to have a few of her friends over for a cookie-decorating play date last week.

Once I realized that I had invited a total of SIX 2-2.5 year olds, plus their five siblings ranging from newborn to 11 months old (and mommies, of course!), I thought it was the craziest idea I’d ever had but despite the general chaos it was so much fun!

I used a gingerbread recipe that I found on a forum I frequent, and I used the confectioners icing recipe  from Joy of Baking. They were fun to make, fun to decorate, and we’re having fun eating them now!

Gingerbread Men


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; then blend into the molasses mixture until smooth.
  3. Cover, and chill for at least one hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. I found that my dough was crumbly, so I needed to knead it for a couple of minutes.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost or decorate when cool.

Confectioners Frosting


  • 2 cups (230 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk


  1. In an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beater.
  3. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little more milk if needed.
  4. Tint frosting with food color, if desired. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate the gingerbread men as desired.

7 Comments on Christmas cookies – Gingerbread men

  1. Toby
    November 28, 2016 at 10:59 PM (1 year ago)

    This makes for great memories, too! Gingerbread houses are just as fun!

  2. Darlene Schuller
    November 29, 2016 at 9:44 AM (1 year ago)

    What fun for everyone in the family! We bake these every year together, the decorating is always the best part!

  3. Judy Cowan
    November 29, 2016 at 9:56 AM (1 year ago)

    Have not made gingerbread in years, might just have to do it this year. Thanks for your recipe.

  4. Anne Taylor
    December 3, 2016 at 5:01 PM (1 year ago)

    I have loved making gingerbread cookies/houses since I was a girl. My kids grew up making them and my grandson and granddaughter will do their first this year!

  5. Florence Cochrane
    December 7, 2016 at 10:58 PM (1 year ago)

    I love making gingerbread cookies. Kind of a family tradition.

  6. caryn s
    December 12, 2016 at 8:04 PM (1 year ago)

    This looks like a great recipe for gingerbread men!


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