Soft Glazed Gingerbread Cookies ~ if you love baking holiday cookies I bet you’re always on the hunt for a new recipe, one that’s not too hard, but has that wow factor. These easy stamped cookies are soft and plush, perfectly spiced, and lightly glazed to bring out their beautiful patterns ~ this could be your knockout cookie for the season!
Is everybody jazzed for cookie baking season? This week I lined up all my flour and sugar canisters front and center on my counter, and it seems like my oven never cools down. I love to make the traditional lineup, but every year I try to breakout with something new. I’ve been dying to make these gorgeous soft gingerbread cookies from chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s dessert cookbook, SWEET. I highly recommend any of his cookbooks, for you, or for gift giving, they’re all amazing and so inspirational. You can see links to my favorites at the bottom of the post.
Gingerbread is one of my favorite holiday ‘flavors’, and I have lots of gingerbread inspired recipes already on the blog. Gingerbread cookies can be crunchy or soft, spicy or mild, deep and dark, or more golden. I happen to love my gingerbread on the soft side, so these are just perfect for me. These cookies stay soft, too, day after day (if they last that long.)
Gingerbread is characterized by molasses along with a blend of spices, but every gingerbread cookie will be unique depending on the exact mixture of spices you use. I don’t recommend using a premixed spice blend, it’s better to use individual spices. If you like you can make your own custom gingerbread spice blend at the start of the holiday season. Then you’ll have it handy for spicing up cocoa, latte, pancakes, or anything that needs a holiday vibe. Feel free to adjust the ratios of the ingredients to your particular taste.
How to make a homemade gingerbread spice mix ~
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp ground allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
As you can see these cookies are gorgeous, but what you might not guess is how simple they are to make. I used my Nordicware Cookie Stamps, they make it so quick and easy to get that intricate patterning.
How to use a cookie stamp
Cookie stamps are fun and easy to use, and you get a fancy cookie effect in an instant.
- It’s essential to use the right dough ~ choose a recipe made for stamping, or choose a firm gingerbread, shortbread, or other type of non-spreading dough that will hold the shape of the stamp as it cooks.
- Chill your cookie stamps in the freezer for several minutes before using. This helps insure a crisp imprint.
- Roll out your dough to a 1/4 inch thickness.
- Press down firmly with your stamp onto the dough. If your stamp sticks to the dough, lightly flour it.
- Use a cookie cutter that is slightly larger or slightly smaller than the stamp itself to cut out your cookies (you can also cut the cookies by hand with a paring knife) and transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake as normal.
- If your imprints are not sharp after baking, try chilling the cookies before baking. If they are still not sharp, try another recipe.
My stamps have a folk/holiday theme but you can get cookie stamps in all kinds of shapes and designs for different occasions and seasons.
This dough is so beautiful all by itself, there’s nothing else that gets me in the holiday spirit quite like rolling out gingerbread dough. (Did you know that I’ve got a gingerbread play dough recipe on the blog?) This particular dough is easy to roll, and the scraps are easy to reform and re-roll because the dough is moist. Kids love to help with stamped cookies, so let them join in the fun.
*Recipe slightly tweaked from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Sweet
- 6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 packed cup plus 2 tbsp (90 g) dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (100 g) molasses
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp (235 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
- 1 Tbs/15g unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp warm water
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C Put your cookie stamps in the freezer to chill.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses in a stand mixer or with electric beaters. Beat in the egg yolk.
- Sift together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low until the dough comes together.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until all the floury crumbles are incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk and then roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness. I did not have to chill my dough before rolling, but if yours is very soft, you may want to.
- Press the cookie stamps firmly into the dough, and then use a round cookie cutter slightly larger or slightly smaller than the stamp itself to cut out the cookies.
- Transfer the cookies to a lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. You don't want to over bake these cookies, so do a test cookie or two to figure out the best timing for your oven. The cookies will be soft when you remove them from the oven, but will firm up as they cool.
- While the cookies are baking whisk the glaze ingredients together until they become a smooth thin glaze. Add more water if the glaze is too thick, it should have the consistency of maple syrup or a thin honey.
- Put the cookies on a cooling rack and brush them with the glaze while still slightly warm. The glaze will dry in about 30 minutes.
These cookies will keep for up to a week at room temperature.
Here are my favorite Ottolenghi cookbooks, in case you’re interested ~ click on any of the images below for more info. I’ve got his newest release, Simple, on my wish list!