Gingerbread Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 36 cookies
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup molasses (I used Grandma's.)
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger (I used a little more.)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (I used a little more.)
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 4 to 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • buttermilk (I added this because the dough was a little too dry. I didn't measure. I just added small amounts until the dough was the right consistency.)
  1. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, molasses, and shortening. Cook over medium-low heat just until mixture is melted and smooth.
  2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and cold water. (Mixture will foam up when baking soda and water are added, so be sure to allow for this when you choose the saucepan to use.) Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Once mixture is cool, add egg, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir to mix well.
  4. Add 4 cups flour and mix well. Add extra ½ cup flour if dough is too sticky. (If dough is too dry, add small amounts of buttermilk until desired consistency is reached.)
  5. Once dough is mixed, separate into two parts, wrap each part in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. (I wanted to hurry along the process, so I chilled mine in the deep freezer for about 30 minutes instead.)
  6. When dough is almost finished chilling, preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Working with one part of the dough at a time (while the other continues to chill), roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll to about ¼" thickness and cut into gingerbread shapes--or whatever other shape you want.
  8. Carefully move the cut-out cookies to the baking pan and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. (I like to have a small bowl of flour on the counter to use to sprinkle the metal spatula as a move the cut-out cookies to the baking pan. It helps so much with keeping the cookies from sticking to the spatula.)
  9. Once the cookies rise and lose their shine, they are done. These cookies will be soft after baking, so you may need to wait a few minutes before removing them from the baking pan to your cooling rack (to keep them from breaking).
  10. Once the cookies are baked and completely cooled, decorate however you'd like! We used ready-to-use icing in pouches and M&M Baking Bits to decorate our cookies.
Recipe by Hip Homeschool Moms at