Whenever I think of Christmas cookies, gingerbread cookies come to mind first! My daughter is quite picky when it comes to her gingerbread cookies, needless to say, we have tried many different recipes. Here is our favourite one; perfectly spiced, soft in the centers, and crisp on the edges.
10 Tablespoons (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
In a large bowl, beat the butter for about 1 minute until completely smooth and creamy (you could use a hand mixer). Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat until combined and creamy-looking. Next, beat in egg and vanilla for 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The butter may separate; don’t worry.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves together until combined. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick and slightly sticky. Divide dough in half and place each onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap each up tightly. Chill dough for at least 1 hour (dough can chill in the fridge for up to 3 days). I usually chill mine overnight. *The cookie dough chills faster when there is less volume. And it’s easier to work with smaller portions.
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove 1 wrapped cookie dough ball from the refrigerator. Flour a work surface, as well as your hands and the rolling pin- this dough can be quite sticky. Roll out dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes. Place shapes 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Re-roll dough scraps until all the dough is shaped.
Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- I always rotate the pan at least once during bake time.
Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack. Once completely cool, have fun decorating them!