The Perfect {Gingerbread} Man

Goodness gracious.  I love everything about gingerbread cookies.  They’re fun to make and decorate (especially with other people).  They fill my house with the best aroma ever.  They’re soft. They’re tasty.  Finally, their presence means that Christmas is almost here!  Wahoo!


  • 1/3 C. shortening (I make half of it butter)
  • 1 C. brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/2 C. dark molasses
  • 2/3 C. cold water
  • 6 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 

Roll out the dough 1/2″ thick onto a heavily floured surface. I like to lay down parchment paper for easy clean up. I might have gone a little overboard with the flour.

Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out cookies. They need not necessarily be associated with Christmas or winter.

Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. This is what happens when you go overboard with the flour, ha ha!

For the frosting: Combine 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1 cup of softened butter.

Add a couple of tablespoons of orange juice to thin the frosting.  Keep adding powdered sugar and orange juice as needed to reach a good consistency to pipe onto the cookies. (Frosting below is still too runny!)

Fill in a frosting bag using a #4 round tip and go crazy!!! Everything looks good in gingerbread form! Let the cookies sit for several hours so the frosting can dry.

I have it on good authority that Santa is a big fan of the cowboy boots!!!


  1. OldBairds

    December 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    So cute! And thanks for the recipe! xoxoxoxo

  2. Clare

    December 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks to Mama, a cowboy boot is totally appropriate for gingerbread cookies!

  3. Vanessa Goertzen

    December 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Oh yes, Clare! That is pretty much tradition! These were for primary kids so I added the ice cream cones and butterflies. Everything pretty much looks good in gingerbread form, doesn't it?

  4. LuLu

    December 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Oh my, you have the cutest cookie cutters! I love that star!

  5. Clare

    December 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Is that really supposed to be only 1/3 c. shortening? It seems like not enough.

  6. Vanessa Goertzen

    December 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Yup! That's all the shortening/butter required!

  7. Dana M.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I am loving that no eggs are required too! Just putting this through my mixer right now. Yummo!

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