Brittany’s Baking Stories: Christmas Cookies

December: Gingerbread Men Cookies

Many years ago, my sister, brother, and I tried to make and decorate gingerbread men for Christmas. I think this had to be around the time we were in college and home for the holidays. Those gingerbread cookies were rock hard. We decorated them but couldn’t eat them. So knowing I was going to attempt to make gingerbread men cookies again, I searched for a solid recipe with positive comments and reviews for a couple weeks. And fortunately, I found this recipe by Christi of Love from the Oven. And to my relief and delight, these gingerbread cookies were so soft and tasted so good. I made sure to store them properly and they stayed soft for days!

Refrigerating the dough is key to the cookies maintaining their shape. I decided to make the dough the day before and leave it overnight. After baking all year, it still takes me a while to get the dough together. And I had another butter fiasco. The butter was too cold in my first batch of wet ingredients. Everything was separated. So I threw that out and started again. The second batch came out great. 

Mixing the dough started out great, but ended with me adding more butter and molasses. I cut this recipe in half because my son and I didn’t need to eat 24 cookies. I think there may have been a mix up with me halving the amounts, but more butter is better. And after more butter and molasses, the dough looked great.

Half of the cookie dough before being rolled out

My fridge gets really cold so I left it near the front. I didn’t realize how long it would take to warm up so it was another semi-late night of baking. I cut out gingerbread men and gingerbread trees. The first batch spread a little, so I threw the second batch in the fridge after I finished cutting them. My second cookie sheet has mysteriously vanished so I had to wait. The second batch held their shape so much better so I think I’ll stick to putting them in the fridge while waiting for the oven to heat up next time. 

I tried a little cookie decorating, but my son came and ate about three or four cookies while I was waiting for them to cool down properly. Stepping up my decorating game will be next.

Decorated gingerbread man and gingerbread tree. Gingerbread man has eyes and smile made with white frosting and three green buttons. Gingerbread Christmas tree is covered in green frosting
Decorated cookies

Since this is likely to be up after Christmas, I hope you had a great one! And if you don’t celebrate, I hope you enjoyed some time off.

Cookie tin with a white background and holly around the red words "Happy Holidays"
A Happy Holidays cookie tin

And with this post, Brittany’s Baking Stories is officially done. I might pop back up with a recipe or two, but I think it’s time to focus more on fiction writing. I’m glad I got to try a lot of new things and share that here. Special shout out to my friend Amber, who got me the cookbook, and to Jerelle Guy for sharing her wonderful recipes in Black Girl Baking. She has a cocoa gingersnap recipe that I almost made for this month. But I will definitely go back and give that a try.

As always, happy baking and happy writing! 

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