Gingerbread men and women are classic cookies that have been created around the world with a lot of different versions and additional ingredients. The core components that really make them come together for me are the molasses and lots of spices. Don’t be afraid, it won’t taste too spiced out. It takes quite a bit to overcome the caramel flavoring in the molasses.
One thing is for certain, there is little middle ground when it comes to gingerbread – you either love it or don’t. I happen to be a later in life lover of the cookies especially when coupled with a side of homemade lemon curd. Delish!
You may be asking yourself, how did you ever think to dunk a gingerbread cookie into lemon curd? Well, here goes the story.
It was New Year’s Eve and we were invited to my brother and sister-in-law’s annual party. They went all out on this thing. There were tons of people there and all of their kid’s friends as well. Oh, and I forgot to mention, at the time they lived with her mother as well so all of her friends and family from the other side were in attendance as well. Imagine, lots of talking, food, and a champagne punch that had about 7 different liquors in it. You didn’t know you were in trouble until you couldn’t feel your lips anymore. Anyways, back to the gingerbread story.
You see, the mother was Swedish and shared with me that one of their traditions was to have ginger cookies with lemon curd. At the time I was not a gingerbread lover, so I said, “Oh, that sounds nice.” I had no intention of actually eating one of those things. But, after a glass of the infamous punch, I found myself being talked in to “just trying it”. BAM! It was like a little flavor bomb exploded in my mouth. The thin ginger cookie dipped into a tart lemon curd was extraordinary. I couldn’t stop eating it! So, the next day, I thought back to the little bomb and wondered if it was just the effect of a holiday punch that really had me in love with gingerbread. I mean, how do you go from not really like spice cookies to being addicted? I had to solve the mystery! After some time past, I decided to revisit the recipe and see if I still felt the same way. I did! Now, I can’t even imagine having a gingerbread cookie without a side of lemon curd.
As you may have already noticed in the above image, I have even gone as far as sandwiching the gingerbread men with lemon curd. It started as an experiment just to see how they would taste. The taste was amazing! If you are a lemon lover, then this is something you should definitely try! I not make a combination of the original more “crispy” gingerbread man and a few sandwiches on the side for those who want to up their lemon game.
Unless you are very talented and can free hand cut out gingerbread man cookie shapes, then I highly recommend using this Wilton Gingerbread Boy Cookie Cutter. This cutter is heavy duty stainless steel and features a thick rubber cushion to protect your hands. This cutter will make it a snap when cutting out your shapes for baking.
Delish Gingerbread Man Cookie
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softenend
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup molasses (do not use Black Strap)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Ingredients for vanilla icing:
- 1 16 ounce bag powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper or use cooking stones. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light in color and creamy (about 5 minutes). Scrape down the sides.
- Add molasses and brown sugar and mix well. Scrape down the sides again.
- Add egg and vanilla. Make sure to fully incorporate (about 2-3 minutes).
- In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, spices until combined. Add dry ingredients into wet. The dough will be thick and sticky.
- Remove dough and divide into 3 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 4 hours and overnight for best results.
- Roll out dough onto slightly floured surface to a little thicker than ¼ inch. Cut into shapes and repeat the process until all dough is gone.
- Bake 10-12 minutes and allow to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Allow to fully cool before decorating.
- Whisk all ingredients together in an electric mixer to desired consistency for piping.