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Gingerbread Cookies


posted: 11/30/15

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

These Gingerbread Cookies make for the cutest Gingerbread Men. They’re soft, keep their shape and have the perfect spice!An overhead photo of the Gingerbread Cookies shaped as little people with smilie faces and mini M&Ms as little buttons.


You guys! It’s the Christmas season!! I’m so pumped!

If you are new to my blog, you probably should know that five years ago I lost my sweet little second son, Elliot. And just about 8 years ago, on the day my first kiddo was born, I lost my amazing mom. Guys, I miss them both so much this time of year. Okay, that makes it sound like I don’t miss them the rest of the year which is crazy. I miss them all the time. But Thanksgiving and Christmas can be especially hard.

Though each year, and I’m getting better at it with each passing year, I try to really just focus on my kids and make it as magical for them as possible.

The Gingerbread Cookie Dough is rolled out flat and little shaped people are cut out of the dough.

Yesterday we did that by decorating the tree. Each kiddo has a bag of ornaments, including Elliot, and we hung them on the tree. I watched in silent horror as they grouped all the similar ornaments together in clumps on the tree. You guys. It took everything in me not to scream, lol.

We have been listening to Christmas music non-stop, and planning Gavin’s Fundraiser super hard. And I have to say . . . even if it started out as a fake it ’til you make it kind of deal, it’s nearly impossible to watch them LOVE on the holidays and not get swept up in it too. We are talking to them about Elliot and what he would be doing with us if he were here. We are talking about my mom and pointing out all the ornaments she got Nathan and I when we first got married. And it feels . . . . okay. :)

The Gingerbread Cookies are shaped as little people with a smilie face and mini M&Ms as little buttons.

And we are making Christmas treats!

Confession:  These Gingerbread Men were going to be a Gingerbread House for you guys (with templates for it and a photo tutorial on putting it together). But my templates aren’t as cute as I want them to be yet. Hopefully I can still get it together before like . . . New Years.

Anyway, Gavin ended up helping me make this dough and when he saw the spices going in, he was incredibly skeptical that he would like it. But he looooooooved it. He loved the taste of the raw dough (use pasteurized eggs, guys), he loved how it smelled, he loved how the cookies made the house smell, and of course he loved the taste of the cookies!

An overhead photo of the Gingerbread Cookies shaped as a little person with the leg bitten off and a frowny face on the gingerbread cookie.

The cookie disagreed.

This recipe makes a BIG batch . . . like THREE DOZEN Gingerbread people. So if you aren’t baking for like a small army, you might want to cut it in half. And yes, it uses shortening, but I love that these have the taste of butter but the shortening helps them keep their shape.

An overhead photo of the Gingerbread Cookies shaped as little people with smilie faces and mini M&Ms as little buttons.


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Gingerbread Cookies

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  • For Cookies
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsps ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature should be soft to the touch, but not melted
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup molases
  • 2 eggs
  • For Icing
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar spooned into measuring cups and leveled
  • 1 pasturized egg white
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • Beat together the shortening, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs and molasses until just combined, scraping down the sides as necessary. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients, until just combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl so it all gets incorporated.
  • Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Working in small batches of dough, roll it out on parchment paper or a silicon baking mat until about 1/4 of an inch thick.
  • Cut out your gingerbread men and place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat . Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the gingerbread looses it's shine and just begins to crack at the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and after two minutes transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Beat the ingredients for the icing until soft peaks begin to form. Using a small piping tip, pipe edging onto the cooled cookies.
Author: Lisa Longley

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Gingerbread Cookies

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An overhead photo of the Gingerbread Cookies shaped as little people with smilie faces and mini M&Ms as little buttons.

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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  1. Julie is Hostess At Heart says

    These gingerbread people are just adorable. I love the sad faced one who lost his leg! I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard it is to get through this. We miscarried and that was tough too. I just know that we will meet again one day.

  2. Kenneth Garcia says

    Feel sorry for your son and mom! :(
    This recipe is new to me. I must try this on next holiday for my Emma! Thanks Lisa for such an awesome recipe.

  3. Mir says

    Oh, my goodness. That cookie with the little sad face and broken leg. I want to take him home!
    Holidays can be a really intense mix of emotions, from missing those we love who are gone to enjoying what we have and being grateful for it. I think anyone dealing with all of those feelings is entitled to sit in a closet and eat cookies when things get overwhelming. Thinking of you!

  4. heather @french press says

    so, is it bad that I love the sad guy with a broken leg the best ;) these are the cutest Lisa, and I’m sure your gingerbread house will be just as cute, even if it is a NEW Years house

  5. Leticia says

    Condolences for your mom and son. I also dearly miss my family members that have passed. I am so excited to find your gingerbread cookies recipe it sounds absolutely delicious . I am making these cookies for my daughter, and l know she will love them. I used to buy them in a bakery when she was little , but it closed a long time ago. She is now 47 years old. I can hardly wait to see her face with excitement Thank you so much. I will keep you posted.

    • Lisa Longley says

      This makes me so happy! I hope she loves them!

  6. Tory says

    I want to say I lost my daughter in 1991, and I lost my boyfriend in 2001 to cancer. I lost my Dad in 2009. I miss them all very much ,and always will. But your right Thanksgiving and Christmas is the hardest for me also I know that pain. Hang in their kiddo!

    • Lisa Longley says

      You hang in there too Tory! This year especially.

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