How To Make Gingerbread Man Cookies

The History of Gingerbread Men

A tasty and iconic treat for the Christmas holiday season. Gingerbread man cookies are credited to being first made by Queen Elizabeth. Before the cookie was shown in the flashy style that Queen Elizabeth created, Chinese experts mastered the recipe for gingerbread. Initially, the cookie was a hard rock-like cookie but has transitioned to a softer cookie.  Gingerbread man cookies have been utilized in many famous events. Mary Bell Washington, George Washington’s mother, served cookies to Marquis de Lafayette when she visited.

Personal Experience Making Gingerbread Men

Finding the correct texture is the hardest part of this experience. Michelle Cramer, a local Pennridge parent, stated, “to make a softer cookie, you have to add more of the liquid ingredients. If you want a drier cookie, use more dry ingredients.”  The softness comes from multiple steps. Firstly, you can’t overmix all of the ingredients. Doing this will result in the cookie being too soft and will fall apart. Another crucial step is the amount of time allotted to baking the cookies. If you let the cookies rise too much in the oven, they will become too hard.

The specialty of this recipe is sprinkling the salt on top of the gingerbread cookies before putting them in the oven. Louise Cramer, a Pennridge grandparent, explained, “The sea salt accentuates the gingerbread taste. It brings out a more traditional taste.” Most of the time this is just done to chocolate chip cookies, but this recipe slightly changes the taste from a modern-day gingerbread man cookie to an older more traditional gingerbread.

Classic gingerbread men cookies. ( )


  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • ¾ cup of soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 25 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2” fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Mix together butter, brown sugar, molasses. The mixture should turn fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  2. Mix the egg and Vanilla into a separate bowl. When they are fully mixed, combined with the first bowl and mix until everything is completely combined.
  3. In a third bowl, mix flour, baking soda, spices, and half of the allotted salt (save half tsp for the end).
  4. Use an electric mixer to combine all ingredients (add wet to dry). If you are going to add any optional spices including fresh ginger, salt, or orange zest, add them here. If you overmix the ingredients the cookies will come out too soft. Go until everything is together and stop.
  5. Divide your batter/dough into two halves. Shape the dough into a disc. Use plastic wrap to keep the disc shape until it firms. Put the discs in a fridge and wait two to three hours.
  6. When the cooling is nearing the end, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you want a harder cookie, make the oven to 375 degrees. If you want softer cookies use 325 degrees.
  7. Take the disks out of the fridge and place on a cookie sheet. Roll the dough to be ¼ of an inch thick.
  8. Use the gingerbread man cookie cutter to make as many cookies as possible.
  9. Sprinkle the leftover salt only on the tops of the cut-out cookies.
  10. Put the cookies in the oven and watch until the cookies are slightly puffed. Once you notice this, take them out of the oven and let them sit for nine to 10 minutes.
  11. After the sitting time, move the cookies to a separate rack and let cool for five minutes before decorating.’s,their%20own%20version%20of%20gingerbread.