These Gingerbread Cookies will get you feeling festive and make your Christmas Cookie Exchange clamor for the recipe! Given to me by a family friend, they have won three cookie competitions!
The Ultimate Gingerbread Cookies
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Okay, okay it isn’t officially Christmas yet…technically it isn’t even December yet, but nothing can lessen my excitement for my favorite holiday of the year. I’ve been counting down the days until Black Friday all month. I know you probably think it is because of the awesome deals but it isn’t. Black Friday is officially the start of Christmas in our house! We wake up in the morning (at a normal time), enjoy some Santa Gingerbread Pancakes (coming soon!) and get ready to go buy our Christmas tree! By early afternoon its been washed and dried and we spend the afternoon decorating the tree, eating these Gingerbread Cookies, listening to Christmas music and making homemade ornaments. Black Friday is almost better than Christmas Day itself to me.
I think it is officially okay to be all about Christmas now right? Once Thanksgiving passes the Christmas floodgates burst open! These gingerbread cookies are based on a recipe given to me by a family friend who has won THREE cookie contests with them! I’ve always loved gingerbread cookies but having never made them for myself I would always buy the gingerbread assortment with chocolate under them. They are the same kind my grandmother used to buy so the memories they would bring back were so special.
Now that I have a family I am so excited about making new traditions that when I find recipes like this one, I make it part of a tradition they can count on each year. Maybe in 30 years or so when they have kids (wow that idea sounds insane) they will ask me for the recipe to make for their own little ones. And because I am a total sucker for my little ones I caved in just a few seconds when my oldest declared they needed gingerbread men sprinkles. I think it adds something, don’t you? Ha.I have just a few suggestions for this recipe so it works out for you. I know sometimes when I make cookies I want them to be done in 20 minutes and having to wait makes me pretty unhappy. So I am warning you ahead of time, please put this dough in the fridge! 2-3 hours will work magic. If you don’t you will have a hot (literal, haha) mess of sticky dough on your hands. Forming them will be a nightmare and they will get FLAT. Chill the dough and you won’t regret it 🙂
If you don’t have the orange juice feel free to use water, the orange juice really makes the flavor pop. It doesn’t taste like orange, it is similar to when you add coffee to a chocolate cake batter to intensify the chocolate flavor. It is like a secret ingredient that makes the cookie go from good to award winning!
When you form the dough into a ball and roll it into the sugar be sure you press it down a bit. I use a water glass bottom to press it down to about 1/2 the ball’s thickness.
Last and most important, send some to me after you make them. They’re one of my favorite cookies and an anchor recipe of my Christmas Cookie Swap Plate.
Best Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter , softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.)
- Cream the butter and 1 cup sugar.
- Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated.
- Add the orange juice and molasses (I use light molasses) until combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients in small batches until just combined.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, if you can't at least put it in the freezer for a half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In about 2 tablespoon balls, roll into the 1/4 cup sugar and flatten so it looks like the thickness of a double stuff Oreo, really thick but clearly flattened.
Bake for 9-11 minutes.