Cookie Baking Day — Gingerbread Cookies

Every year my mom, grandmother, and I get together to make Christmas cookies. Last year, Turner was only a few weeks old. So he was either sleeping or in the Bjorn while we baked cookies. This year was a lot more fun! Turner was very excited to go to Gigi’s house!

Turner had a blast. He had all of his cooking utensils on the floor so he could work on his own baking project!

Maybe I’ll let him eat some cookies next year! But, for this year, it was just his healthy snacks. He still loved them!

We made a bunch of different kinds of cookies. We made my great grandmother’s Italian Prune Cookies (they’re delicious, I promise!), pecan tassies, thumbprints, reindeer cookies (at least we tried, but apparently our “mini” pretzels were mammoth sized compared to the ones she used! We tried breaking them, but it turned into a hot mess), and Gingerbread Cookies (recipe below).

We had so much fun baking together, as usual! Turner had fun getting his hands on everything he could find and trying to pull the cookies off the table! And we had fun spending time together!

And, as promised, here is the most DELICIOUS gingerbread cookie recipe ever! It makes a few million, so you might want to cut it in half. Or, you could always freeze half of the dough! Merry Christmas cookie baking!!

Gingerbread Cookies

5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup Grandma’s Molasses
2 eggs beaten

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a medium bowl. Melt shortening and butter in a large saucepan over low heat until just melted, not hot. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly. Add, in order, sugar, molasses, eggs. Mix well.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl of a standing mixer. Turn the mixer on low, and slowly add in 4 cups of the dry ingredients. Mix until combined, using a spatula to scrape down the sides from time to time.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make dough firm. Remember, you can always add flour, but you can’t take it away! Separate into four sections and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Dough will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Take dough out 3 hours before using so it becomes soft.

Work with 1/4 of the dough at a time. Roll it out, on a floured surface, to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into whatever gingerbread shapes you like! We did stockings, reindeer, and gingerbread men. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Baking time depends on the size and thickness of the cookies. The thicker they are, the chewier they will be (my preference). The thinner they are, the crispier they will be. You can tell they’re finished because they will be puffed up in the center and crisp around the edges. That being said, check them at 8 minutes. Depending on their size, they could be done anywhere between 8 and 12 minutes.