These soft and chewy cut-out Gingerbread Men Cookies are easy to decorate with a glossy 4-ingredient icing. Grab your favorite cookie cutters and get ready for this classic Christmas treat!
For the Gingerbread Men
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (110g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup (118ml) molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) milk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups (385g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (5g) ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon (2.5g) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
For the Gingerbread Cookie Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons +2 teaspoons milk
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon clear vanilla or almond extract (optional)
Make the Cookies
- Beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until the sugar is dissolved and creamy.
- In a small glass dish, dissolve the baking soda in the milk.
- Add the molasses, milk mixture, vanilla and egg to the butter mixture. Beat until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl and slowly add them to the wet ingredient mixture, beating until the dough forms.
- Form 2 softball-sized balls of dough, flatten them into discs, then wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the wrapped dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but the longer the better.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface until it’s 1/4-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the gingerbread men, then transfer them to the lined baking sheet. Brush off excess flour with a pastry brush.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. Remove them from the oven just as the edges start to crisp. In my oven, that’s 9 minutes. The centers of the cookies will still be soft, but baked through.
- Allow your cookies to cool for several minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Icing
- Combine the sifted powdered sugar, corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of milk in a bowl and whisk until well combined. The icing will be thickened.
- Add additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time to thin out the icing until it reaches your desired consistency. In order for the icing to hold its place on your cookies, it should take 3-4 seconds to flatten on its own surface when you pick some up with the whisk and drizzle it back down into the bowl. If it’s too thin, add an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar.
- Pipe the icing onto your cooled cookies using a small piping tip or a plastic bag with the corner cut off. Let the first layer of icing set for several hours before you add any additional icing details on top of it. Once all of the icing hardens on the cookies, serve or store them as you wish.
- This recipe makes 24-28 cookies, depending on the cookie cutters used. My cookie cutters are 3 1/4” tall.
- To Store: Keep cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature once the icing has set. Place parchment or wax paper between layers to prevent sticking and enjoy cookies within 2-3 days.
- To Freeze: Unfrosted cookies can be frozen in an airtight container with wax paper in between layers. Frozen cookies will last for up to 3 months. Thaw them on a wire rack before icing and enjoying.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: gingerbread cookies soft, decorating gingerbread men, icing for gingerbread cookies