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Gingerbread People


Keep your gingerbread ladies and gents looking their most dapper with this playful recipe.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 18

Source: Everyday Food, December 2007


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 teaspoons powdered egg whites (meringue powder)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and molasses. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months (thaw before baking).

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks set in upper and lower thirds. Working with one disk at a time, place dough on lightly floured parchment paper, and roll out to 1/8 inch thick, dusting lightly with flour as needed. Using paper, lift dough onto two baking sheets; freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.

  3. Remove paper and dough from baking sheets. Using a long offset spatula, loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and brush off any excess flour. Transfer to baking sheets. (Gather scraps, briefly freeze, and re-roll.)

  4. For softer cookies, bake 8 to 10 minutes; for crunchier cookies, bake 11 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

  5. Make icing: In a large bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, powdered egg whites, and 1/4 cup water (if needed, adjust consistency with confectioners' sugar). Transfer icing to a pastry bag with a small tip, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and snip a small hole in one corner. Decorate cookies as desired.

Cook's Notes

Make sure the disks of dough are well-chilled so they're easy to roll out thin. Roll from the center out, and aim for an even thickness, stopping just short of the edge of the dough. A quick dip in flour will keep the cookie cutter from sticking to the dough. Look for powdered egg whites in the baking aisle at your supermarket.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS10696121
    23 DEC, 2012
    I've made these for years-very tasty but a little time consuming (like all gingerbread cookies and other rolled cookies). I add a little black pepper to them for an added kick. And I probably drop the salt to 1/2 or 3/4 tsp (really never measure salt, just use enough in sweets to bring out the other flavors.
  • Souraya Maouad Daou
    19 DEC, 2012
    I tried this recipe and it ended up tasting too salty and bitter. We couldn't taste the spices because the molasses and salt just covered all the other flavors! Are you sure it's 1 1/2 tsp salt and 3/4 molasses?
  • annelize
    13 DEC, 2012
    could one replace the molasses with golden syrup?
  • MS10997705
    1 DEC, 2012
    I have been baking these cookies for a number of years and love them. I bake them for customers and family, and have yet to have a negative comment. These cookies do take work but well worth it.
  • MS11286535
    4 DEC, 2011
    I don’t have any issues with this recipe at all. Make sure you chill the dough well like you do sugar cookies. Love it and will make it again!
  • ksnow07
    10 DEC, 2010
    On the new mstewart cookie app it leaves out flour as an ingredient for this recipe!! No wonder they tasted like pure butter. i want a refund, terrible app and hardly any content
  • annjen
    9 DEC, 2010
    I tried these cookies yesterday and had a terrible time with the dough. It was so sticky, even after re-chilling them I couldn't get them off of the parchment paper. I ended up scrapping the dough off and rolling it into balls and flattening them out, sort of making a ginger snap. Taste was good but I don't think I'll make them again.
  • glorybees7
    2 DEC, 2009
    Are these chewy or crunchy? I need a chewy gingerbread roll out cookie recipe.
  • Ms_Abby
    1 DEC, 2009
    sorry I didn't get to finish what I was saying...there's teh Gingerbread Cookies, and the gingerbread People. Besided the obvious differences with the ingredients...what other differences, taste or texture, are there between these two recipes?
  • Ms_Abby
    1 DEC, 2009
    I noticed that Marth has two kinds of Gingerbread cookies recipes - The Gingerbread Cookies