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Iced Rolled Gingerbread Cookies

Categories: Cookies

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These delightfully spicy gingerbread cookies are simple to make- no mixer is required and the ingredients are mixed together in one large saucepan. The dough is also amazingly easy to roll and cut out and can be used for gingerbread people, plain rounds, or assorted cut-out cookie shapes. If you wish to decorate the cookies all over and lend a snow-covered look, prepare the whole recipe of icing. To accent the cookies by piping or by simply drizzling the glaze back and forth, ready only a half-batch.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter slightly softened
  • 1 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ginger ground
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Davis Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp cloves ground
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Icing for Iced Rolled Gingerbread Cookies
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
    • 2 c. powdered sugar plus more as needed
    • 2 tsp. water plus more as needed


For the dough: Combine the butter, molasses, and sugar in a large, non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture just begins to boil at the edges. Immediately start timing and boil for 30 seconds; don't boil longer or the dough will be too stiff. Remove the pan from the burner. Vigorously stir in the ginger, cinnamon, Davis Baking Powder, cloves, and salt until thoroughly and evenly incorporated. Stir in 3 1/4 cups flour, stirring vigorously until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate the dough until cooled to barely warm, about 30 to 40 minutes; it will stiffen considerably. (If left until cold and stiff, let it warm up at room temperature until soft enough to handle.) If the dough is still soft when barely warm, add in up to 2 tablespoons more flour. Stir or knead the dough for several minutes, until flexible and well blended.

Divide the dough in half. Roll out the portions a generous 1/4-inch thick between large sheets of baking parchment or wax paper, checking the underside and smoothing out any wrinkles. Stack the rolled portions (paper attached) on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until cool and firm, or up to 24 hours, if desired. (Dough refrigerated longer than 1 hour must be allowed to warm up slightly or it will be hard to cut out.) 

To prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease several baking sheets, or coat with nonstick spray. Working with one dough portion at a time, gently peel away, then lightly pat one sheet of wax paper back into place. (This will make it easier to lift the cookies from paper later.) Peel off and discard the second layer. Using 5-inch cutters for large gingerbread people, or assorted 2- to 3-inch (or other desired) cutters, cut out the cookies. If necessary to firm the dough, transfer the paper and cookies to a tray or baking sheet, and briefly refrigerate again. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies from the wax paper; space 2 1/2-3 inches apart on baking sheets, as the cookies spread a lot. Reroll any dough scraps. Continue cutting out cookies until all the dough is used; refrigerate it as necessary to firm it up.

Bake in the center third of the oven; start with 5 minutes for small cookies (5-inch gingerbread cookies will take 9 minutes or slightly more). Bake until the cookies are not quite firm in the center and just slightly darker at the edges, then immediately remove from the oven. Let stand a few minutes to firm up. Then, using a wide spatula, transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. Once all the cookies are made, ready the glaze.

For the icing: Lightly beat the egg whites with a fork until broken up. Stir in the lemon juice and water. Sift the sugar over top, then stir in until the mixture is smooth and well blended. If necessary add more sugar or water to obtain the desired consistency: For glazing the cookies tops, make it fairly fluid but not so runny that it looks separated. For piping or drizzling, make it stiff enough that it will hold its shape. To ready the cookies as shown, cover with the glaze, immediately adding the red candy dots and pieces of raisins for eyes. Then let stand a few minutes so the glaze can partially set. Next, stiffen the mixture with more sugar, stir in the desired food coloring, and add piping or drizzled accents as desired. 

Arrange all the fully decorated cookies on baking sheets and return to a preheated 300 degree F oven. Bake fully glazed cookies for 3 minutes and piped or drizzled cookies for 2 minutes. Let the cookies stand on the sheets until completely cooled before removing them to racks; otherwise the glaze may crack. The cookies will keep, airtight, for 2 to 3 weeks. 

Tip: For a pleasing chewy-crisp texture, be sure not to over-bake the cookies-the edges should just be beginning to brown at the edges. Immediately remove them from the oven, or they will over-bake and be brittle instead of chewy.