Soft Glazed Gingerbread Cookies are easy stamped cookies with that ‘wow’ factor. They’re soft, perfectly spiced, and lightly glazed to bring out their beautiful patterns ~ this could be your knockout cookie for the season!
soft glazed gingerbread cookies for the holidays
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.)
what are the spices in glazed gingerbread cookies?
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 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
cookie stamps make intricate gingerbread cookies with no effort!
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.
customize your cookie stamps for different holidays and seasons
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 gingerbread dough is a dream to work with
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.
tvfgi recommends: Nordic Ware cookie stamps
The set I used is called Starry Night. These sturdy cookie stamps are cast aluminum with wooden handles, I love how they give an instant ‘wow’ factor to a plain cookie. Just like your favorite copper cookie cutters, these tools will become a treasured family heirlooms. There are lots of designs to choose from.
- Glazed Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- Glazed Gingerbread Spritz Cookies
- Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Starry Night Gingerbread Cookies
- Holiday Gingerbread Cake
Soft Glazed Gingerbread Cookies
- cookie stamps
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 packed cup plus 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses, do not use blackstrap, which is bitter.
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp 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 Tbsp 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. Note: your cookie stamp shouldn't stick, but if yours does, your dough may have needed a bit more flour. Try flouring the cookie stamp before stamping, or put the cookie stamp in the fridge to chill it first.
- 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.
- Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the pan before carefully transferring to a rack to cool completely.
- 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.
- Brush the cooled cookies with the glaze. You want the glaze to be thick enough to settle into the design for a beautiful emphasis. It will become more translucent as it dries.
- Let the glaze set up fully before serving or storing.
Here are my favorite Ottolenghi cookbooks, in case you’re interested ~ click on any of the images below for more info.
Questions and Reviews
One of the best cookies I have ever had! This will be one that will be made every year! My batches make about 40 cookies, not complaining though. 🙂 I increase the spices to about double what it calls for, just personal preference.
I really want to try this yummy -looking recipe, but don’t want to invest in cookie stamps right now. Do you have any suggestions?
It’s hard to say since cookie stamps are kind of a unique object. Sometimes people use the bottom of crystal glasses as a kind of cookie stamp, if you have any glassware that has a cut pattern on the bottom you could try that.
The Nordicware presses were back ordered and I didn’t see others I liked, so I ordered an inexpensive plastic mooncake press – I found three of the included patterns worked for me. We had to pre-measure dough balls by weight and keep the press floured, but it worked perfectly and formed the edges in the same stroke.
Thanks for the great recipe Sue! I’ve ordered the Sweet book, and my Nordicware presses just arrived. You’ve inspired my holiday baking!
I love this because I bought mooncake molds a while back and haven’t tried them, you’ve inspired me!
Thanks for both these suggestions!
Hi Sue! I have a few questions. I’m going to be making a lot of cookies next week so I’m trying to make some of the dough’s beforehand. How soon can I make this dough ahead of time? If I can make the dough ahead of time should i refrigerate or freeze the dough. TIA!
I’d say the dough should be fine for a couple of days beforehand, Leslie. Longer than that and you might want to freeze.
Hey Sue. The recipe tasted great but for some reason my cookies expanded and the stamped design is barely visible. Any ideas what could have gone wrong?
Sounds like a little too much moisture in the dough, a little extra flour and chilling them well before baking will help. Also make sure you get a good strong impression on the cookie dough first. Another thought, make sure your oven is at temperature before you put them in, and make sure your oven is accurate, too low a heat and they may spread.
Great, thank you so much!
Did you make sure you used baking soda, not baking powder. I’ve done that before and had similar results.
Can the recipe be doubled or tripled with good result?
You can double, for sure.
Love your little spool of twine in the picture..do you have a link to the supplier or can you tell me where to purchase? Thanks! Made your pumpkin yeast rolls for Thanksgiving…fab!
Gosh Kerri, i don’t remember where I got that, i think maybe it was Cost Plus World Market. Glad you liked the rolls 🙂
Noticed an error, possibly a typo? 100g is not 1/3 c and 90g is not 1/3 plus 2 tablespoons. Are those possibly flip flopped? Which should we follow the metric or the us measurements?
90 grams of dark brown sugar is .45 US cups, so that is correct, and 100 grams of molasses is 1/3 US cup, so the recipe should be correct Tara.
never had any kind of luck with cookie stamps, or those intricate cookie cutters with all the nooks and crannies! the dough always sticks no matter how much I grease, flour, or what recipe I use. I gave up on cookie stamps a long time ago! I will try your gingerbread recipe though! Do you think these would work shaped as gingerbread men?
I would not use this recipe for cut out cookies, Serena, but I have an amazing gingerbread recipe just perfect for rolling and cutting, here. Hope this helps!
I haven’t tried this recipe yet but had a question. The recipe doesn’t have all of the spices that your spice mix has. Does it matter? If the spice mixture can be substituted, how much should be used?
Right, a classic pumpkin spice mix is a little different from the spices in this cookie recipes, and you can go either way with it, it’s your choice. You can substitute 2 teaspoons of the pumpkin spice mix.
Made these today, wonderful!! My kitchen smells so good.
The recipe worked perfectly, down to the last spoonful of glaze, delish!
I’m thrilled Martine…I’m actually working on a new version of these for holiday ’19!