There’s no time like the holidays to stuff yourself with cookies until your body composition is 80% butter and sugar. To celebrate the season and catch up with friends, I hosted a cookie baking party this past weekend and baked over 100 cookies – yum! A classic favorite was a sturdy yet chewy gingerbread cookie that was perfect for decorating. And what can be cuter than cookie squirrels? I’ve heard that gingerbread can be challenging to make, so here are some tips and tricks for perfect gingerbread men (or in my case, squirrels!)
I used this recipe and found it to be easy and excellent.
- Test your oven so you know the appropriate bake time. My oven generally takes longer, so instead of 8 min as recommended in the recipe, I baked for 9 min. I have a post on oven testing here.
- Chill your dough for enough time. The main challenge with gingerbread is that it can get sticky! I left mine in the fridge over night.
- Heavily flour all surfaces, your rolling pin, and your cookie cutter. Even when the dough has been chilled, it can begin to thaw out especially if you are re-rolling. Flour can ensure a clean transfer of cookies to the baking sheet.
- Modify spices based on the audience. Some people prefer a sweeter cookie, so reduce the amount of ginger. Others like a bit of a kick, so feel free to add more spices.
- Turn leftover dough into hearts. When there’s not enough dough left for a full cookie, I find hearts to be the easiest and most forgiving shape to mold by hand. Roll the dough into a ball and flatten. Pinch one end into a point and press a dent onto the opposite end – and you have a cute little heart!These cookies came out perfectly and were so fun to decorate! They were also very tasty and maintained a good texture even 2 days after. I can’t say how they taste after 2 days because at that point we’d eaten them all 🙂