Chewy, Soft Gingerbread People Cookies

By America’s Test Kitchen | December 8th, 2021

Gingerbread, gingerbread, gingerbread rocks – decorating tips and recipe for homemade deliciousness


freshly baked gingerbread cookies on a cooling rack. For article on Chewy and Soft Gingerbread People Cookies Image

America’s Test Kitchen brings us their tested recipe and decorating tips for chewy, soft gingerbread people cookies.


Decorating your gingerbread people

One of our favorite ways to decorate cookies is with a glaze you can spread on with an icing spatula or the back of a spoon.

To make glaze:

In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/3 cups (5 1/3 ounces) confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon softened cream cheese, and 1 to 2 drops food coloring (if desired). Use a rubber spatula to stir until very smooth.

Glazing your cookies gives you a blank canvas for decorating. Just make sure to let the glaze dry completely, about 30 minutes, before serving.

Use a small icing spatula or back of spoon to spread the glaze in even layer on a cookie, starting in the middle and working your way toward the edges.

While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with sanding sugar, sprinkles, crushed cookies, or candy.

Our recipe tester, 9-year-old Brendan, says the chewy, soft gingerbread people cookies are yummy! “They were soft, chewy, and I need more,” he says.

Chewy and Soft Gingerbread People Cookies

Makes 12 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) milk
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Process until combined, about 10 seconds. Add melted butter, molasses, and milk. Turn on the processor and process until soft and crumbly dough forms and no streaks of flour remain, about 20 seconds.
  2. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the dough onto a clean counter. Knead dough until it comes together, about 20 seconds.
  3. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on counter. Place the dough in center of the plastic and flatten the dough into 8-inch circle. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. If the dough has been refrigerated for more than 1 hour, be sure to let the dough sit on the counter for 15 minutes before rolling out.
  4. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and discard plastic. Place dough in the center of a second large sheet of parchment. Place a third large sheet of parchment on top of the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll dough into 11-inch circle (about 1/4-inch thick), rolling the dough between the parchment.
  6. Peel off the top sheet of parchment. Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into gingerbread people. Use a spatula to transfer shapes to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced about 1/2 inch apart.
  7. Gather dough scraps and place them in the center of large piece of parchment, and place another piece of parchment on top. Repeat rolling and cutting steps with dough scraps until you have 12 cookies. Discard remaining dough scraps.
  8. Bake until cookies are slightly puffy and just set around edges, 9 to 11 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies directly to the cooling rack. Let cookies cool completely, about 30 minutes. Decorate your chewy, soft gingerbread people cookies as desired.

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© 2021 America’s Test Kitchen. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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