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Gingerbread Men {and Friends}

It’s almost Christmas, which means it’s gingerbread man (and woman) time! I had so many problems last year making gingerbread cookies for the first time that I didn’t write all of the details or the recipe. This year’s gingerbread cookies turned out to be extra fabulous. This recipe is slightly adapted from my Pastry Queen cookbook, and I now believe the Pastry Queen when she says this is the best gingerbread recipe out there.

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The best part of this recipe in my opinion? The fact that it’s eggless without any modifications, which means I can eat raw chunks freely without any worry of consuming raw eggs. I ate a lot of scraps. Hey— the recipe said don’t roll any piece of dough out more than twice or the cookies will end up too hard from being overworked. I couldn’t let that happen, so the only solution I saw was to eat those scraps. I love cookie dough of all sorts— the only thing better than cookies!

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One tip in the recipe that really helped me was flattening the dough out evenly and placing it in a plastic freezer bag in the fridge overnight to chill. It gave the cookie dough a nice smooth surface and allowed the cookie cutters to cut through the cookies very smoothy. I think I might use this trick in the future for other kinds of roll out cookies. You don’t have to mess with the rolling pin nearly as much.

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Gingerbread Cookies

makes ~2 1/2 dozen; slightly adapted from The Pastry Queen Cookbook

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • M&Ms, chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cinnamon chips, sprinkles, etc. for decorating
  1. In a large pan on the stove, bring the sugar, molasses, and water to a simmer until sugar is dissolved. Add in ginger, cinnamon, and ground cloves.
  2. Remove from heat and add in chunks of butter and whisk until smooth. Allow mixture to cool.
  3. While cooling, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl.
  4. After the hot mixture has cooled for about 15 minutes, use a wooden spoon to fold the flour mixture into hot mixture pan until fully incorporated.
  5. Spoon the dough into a gallon sized freezer bag and flatten evenly until the dough covers practically the entire bag in a smooth, thin layer. Allow the dough to sit in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Divide the dough into 3 parts and roll out to 1/4″ thickness onto a lightly floured surface (it won’t take much work since you did most of the flattening out yesterday.
  7. Use a variety of cookie cutters to cut out holiday shapes and place on parchment paper or silicone-lined baking sheet. Decorate with chocolate chips, etc. by lightly pushing them into the shapes.
  8. Bake for 9 minutes until puffy.
  9. Allow to cool on pan for several minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Once cooled, you can also decorate with royal icing, but I still don’t have all of the tools I need to do that successfully, so I just used a variety of chips and candies.

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Bonnie also got to indulge in some gingerbread holiday treats. It had been awhile since I’d made her treats, but now that she’s off her special diet (we’ve determined she doesn’t have a food allergy, but rather she has a boatload of environmental allergies and is on medication and allergy shots— poor girl), she’s overdue for lots of homemade treats. As you can imagine, she quite enjoyed them! Thanks for the dog treat pan, Mom!

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Gingerbread Puppy Treats

makes 1 dozen

  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease a dog treat pan (or you could use a muffin tin, but they won’t be in cute little paw print shapes) with olive oil (I used a mister, so the coating wasn’t too thick).
  3. Combine the molasses, water, and honey together in a medium bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, mix rice flour, ginger, cinnamon, and baking soda together.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix (adding more water if necessary). The mixture will be quite crumbly.
  6. Take spoonfuls of dough and press into the pan until almost completely filled (I made two batches worth).
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes. I let the second batch sit in the oven as it was cooling for about 10 minutes, and they were darker and crunchier, if that’s what your puppy would prefer!

And here’s our Christmas gingerbread house with all three of us standing in front!

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