After all these years and thousands of holiday cookies, we still find stenciling to be one of the prettiest -- and easiest -- ways to decorate.


Recipe Summary

Yield varies


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl.

  • Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and beat until combined. Divide dough into thirds, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or nonstick baking mats. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out cookies in desired shapes using cookie cutters, and transfer to baking sheets.

  • Bake until crisp, but not dark, about 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely.

  • Punch desired shape out of stiff paper (we used a thick envelope) using a craft punch. Hold stencil over 1 cookie, and brush a thin layer of icing over exposed surface using a small food-safe paintbrush. Holding stencil in place, gently sift confectioners' sugar over cookie through a fine sieve to evenly coat exposed surface. Lift stencil, and return cookie to wire rack. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let dry.

Reviews (2)

116 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 20
  • 4 star values: 48
  • 3 star values: 32
  • 2 star values: 14
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: Unrated
I just made these cookies today, I was execting these cookies were going to be soft. I took them out of the oven in 10 mins and to me??... it was a bit to hard. Im not a big fan of crunchy cookies more like soft but dont get me wrong. These are tasty with a nice flavor to them. Next time I'm leaving them less than 10mins, maybe 8
Rating: Unrated
This makes a tasty cut out cookie, but here's some things I ran into: first off, check the cookies at 10 minutes, mine were done in 10 rather than closer to 20. Don't let them get golden brown as they will be too hard. Bake them until just set (and firm to the touch but with some give) if you like your cookies soft, not hard.