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
I don’t have Dutch processed cocoa, can I leave it out?
If you have regular cocoa powder, use that, but otherwise you can leave it out, and to be precise, add a tablespoon more of flour.
These are amazing. I am eating way too many in a day. I didn’t have a cookie stamp so I just used other cookie cutters. I agree with the tip not to overcook them. One of my batches was a little crisper than I would have liked but it didn’t stop us from eating all of them.
Thank you. I used regular cocoa and it was fine. Are the cookies suppose to be soft in consistency? Mine were crisp and I baked them for the specified time. My temp gauge on my oven was correct. Maybe I rolled to thin or maybe I should cut the bake time a little. Otherwise they were beautiful!
Hi Laurie, yes, the cookies should be soft so maybe yours were a little thinner. Some like them crunchier, but I do love them soft.
Thanks for the recipe! It worked great! My dough was a bit dry and wouldn’t stick together, but I was able to fix it with a tiny bit of milk.
That can happen because of small variations in measuring ~ glad they worked out!
Do you think this recipe would work to use with an embossed cookie rolling pin? Or perhaps your other one here https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/easy-gingerbread-cookies-with-royal-icing/ ?
Or do you think neither of these recipes would work with an embossed rolling pin?
Thanks so much!
I haven’t used an embossed rolling pin, but I think wither would work as long as your rolling pin had a fairly defined embossing, if you know what I mean.
Edited 2021: I’ve used this dough with an embossed rolling pin and it works beautifully!
I made these, they are fabulous and my new favorite! Mine looked just like the pictures as I own the starry night stamps. I’m going to make another batch as my only criticism would be that the recipe has a small yield!
You’ll have to try my chocolate version of these, Dale, here.
These look so pretty and tasty! Do you think the dough would freeze well for about a month or two in advance? We bake tons of cookies to give to neighbors at Christmas and I’m determined to pre-make as much dough as possible this year. Any tips for freezing and thawing would be appreciated. Thanks!
They’ll freeze great, but you might want to glaze after thawing.
Hi there, does the glaze harden when dry?
Delicious cookies! However, I, too, had trouble with the stamp on the cookie showing up. Therefore, I made gingerbread men!! Love your site and your recipes.
Your dough might have been a bit too moist. Try adding a little more flour next time for a firmer dough.
This is delicious!!! Mine are not as pretty as yours as I had trouble with the stamps showing up. I think some of the cookies were too thick. They taste AMAZING!!! Thank you for your recipes.
Thanks Anne, and Merry Christmas to you.
I see in his original recipe he calls for blackstrap molasses. Is that what you used or did you use unsulphered regular molasses?
I use regular molasses, I think the blackstrap is way too intense.