Flannels & Pearls

Gingerbread Men

I love our family tradition of making gingerbread men. There’s something magical and nostalgic about our home around Christmas time. The twinkling lights from the tree, the coziness of a fire crackling in our den, arranging my favorite nativity scene, and the wonderful smell of baking gingerbread permeating the house while my kids wait in anticipation to take that first delicious bite. Creating Christmas memories…

It always seems like cut out cookies make so many more than I expect. My mom and her mom would definitely count cookies and even mark it on their recipe cards each year. I never have the foresight! I’d guesstimate an easy 75 cookies from this batch, of course it depends on how thick you roll your dough and the size of your cookie cutters. The good news is, they freeze very well if you have leftovers after the holidays. Here’s how I make our favorite gingerbread men.

In your mixing bowl, add 1 c. softened butter and 1 1/2 c. brown sugar. Cream together.

Add in 2/3 c. molasses.

Beat in 2 eggs and 4 Tbsp. water.

In a small bowl, stir together the following: 4 tsp. ground ginger, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. allspice.

Add 5 1/2 c. flour to mixing bowl, mixing after each cup. Beat in spice mixture.

Smell that? That’s Christmas heaven. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 to 60 minutes. Or, if you live in North Dakota, put your bowl in the garage for a bit.

Get your rollers and cookie cutters out! We usually use a few other shapes besides gingerbread men. The kids love rolling and cutting. Make sure you flour your surface. I prefer softer cookies, so I roll my dough fairly thick.

Once you get the cookies on trays, use a pastry brush to brush the excess flour off. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Take them out early if you want them soft or leave them in longer if you prefer crispy cookies.

Once cooled, decorate away! I use royal icing for gingerbread cookie. I decorate most of the men and my kids decorate a FEW men and other Christmas shapes. I admit, I’m a little particular about my men. The cookies freeze very well and are fantastic dunked in a hot, dark coffee. Guess what I’m having for breakfast…

*Adapted from Taste of Home

Gingerbread Men

Course Dessert
Servings 6 dozen


  • 1 c. butter softened
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2/3 c. molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp. water
  • 5 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. allspice


  • In a mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Beat in molasses, eggs, and water.
  • In a small bowl, stir together ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
  • Gradually add flour to the large mixing bowl, beating after each cup. Add in spices, mixing well until combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a flour surface, to your desired thickness. But out shapes with preferred cookie cutters.
  • Bake 9 to 10 minutes. Cool completely. Decorate with icing if desired.