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
Making these for the second year in a row– they were the standout hit on our Christmas cookie platter last year. My sister is also making them this year, and I’ve had a few friends ask for the recipe. We make gingerbread cut-outs every year (to decorate) and honestly no one ever eats them because they’re hard and dry. But we all love chewy molasses cookies, and these completely checked that box, in a more festive way than just plain molasses cookies. I even saw houseguests reaching for some with their morning coffee. Thanks for such a great recipe! Going in the family recipe box.
I’m thrilled Kate, I love it when my recipes become family treasures.
Hi Sue! Is this gingerbread cookie the same thing as speculaas cookies? I’ve never made either type, but I want to try. Thanks!
No, it’s quite different. I’m not sure if the speculaas dough would stamp well, I haven’t tried.
Absolutely wonderful soft cookie! This will be my goto from now on. Thank you so much.
Made these today, they taste very good. BUT the dough was much too soft, even after chilling. Horrible time trying to stamp the dough with my NordicWare stamps, that I’ve used before. And then once on the baking sheet and in the oven, spread so that you can barely see the design. And they went back into the fridge before going into the oven.
I weighed out my ingredients and I don’t know what went wrong. Just very VERY SOFT dough. Needs more flour? Less butter? BTW, I take the butter’s temperature with an instant read thermometer so I know when it’s at room temp.
But they did taste good. Didn’t bother with the glaze; this time.
Hi Barb ~ sorry you had trouble with this dough. If your dough is too soft to stamp, always feel free to knead in a bit more flour. Even with accurate measurements getting the right proportions in dough can be tricky. A little extra flour should do the trick for you.
Can I use salted butter and omit the salt?
And why unsalted butter?
I’m thinking of making these because I have a Merry Christmas stamp!
Yes you can. I always bake with unsalted butter just because that assures that I control the salt in a recipe.
I made these this evening and they turned out beautifully! Soft cookie, held the pattern beautifully. I followed directions but used plain hershey’s cocoa instead of dutch processed – results looked and tasted great. I glazed once they made it to the rack to cool – so they were warm but not hot, and glaze settled into the design beautifully.
To me this recipe is foolproof. Thank you. I’m now a fan.
I’m so happy to have made a new fan 🙂
I began the recipe mixing up large amounts of spices which ends with p being a recipe for gingerbread spice and NOT the cookie itself. 🙁
Hi Teresa! Yes, there is a recipe for a homemade gingerbread spice mix in the blog post, but if you scroll down, you will find the full recipe for the cookies which uses individual spices. Sorry for the confusion, I hope this helps!
Can you do a few gluten free recipes? Thank you.
The general rule is that you can freeze glazed cookies, but that usually applies to holiday type cookies with a white sugar glaze. These cookies have a much more delicate glaze, which is why I recommend glazing them after defrosting.
These are excellent! We measured in grams instead of using the cup conversion and used King Arthur all purpose gluten free flour- I’m not sure why others struggled with getting these to turn out right- I did use a stand mixer but my dough and these cookies were perfect! Making a second batch! Definitely give these a try!!