For years, my mom was trying to find the perfect gingerbread dough recipe.
It had to have plenty of spice and flavor, had to roll and cut well, and had to be slightly soft after it was baked. The result of her experimenting and changing of other recipes is this perfect and delicious dough.
You honestly won't find a better one!
If you scroll down under the dough recipe, you will also find the best icing recipe! You can see the icing in the pictures--it is beautiful and vibrant, and incredibly easy to make and use!
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes + chilling time
Active Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Inactive Time: (The dough is best if made and chilled overnight, or at least 3 hours)
Yield: Approx. 2-3 dozen per dough disk / 10-12 dozen for whole recipe (depending on size of cookie cutters)
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks butter, softened to room temp.
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses (or a 12 oz. jar "Grandma's" brand)
- 2 large eggs
- Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and salt through a wire sieve into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In an extra large bowl, using a hand mixer at high speed, cream together butter and Crisco until well combined, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes. Beat in molasses and eggs. Using a large spoon, gradually mix in flour mixture to make a stiff dough and until well combined. Divide into 4 thick disks (above) and wrap well in plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours to 2 days.
- When ready to make cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Work with one disk of dough at a time, keeping the rest refrigerated. (If the dough warms up too much, it will become sticky and difficult to manage. If this happens, wrap up the dough and refrigerate until chilled.)
- Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes of your choice and place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave about 1 inch between cookies, as they will puff up slightly. Gather scraps and re-roll dough.
- If using an "air-bake" cookie sheet, bake about 11 minutes. If using regular sheets, bake about 9 minutes. (If the edges become browned, the cookies will be too crunchy.) Cool on sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. (See icing recipe below!)
Yield: This recipe makes enough and then some for the gingerbread cookie recipe
- 2 lb. powdered sugar (about 9 cups)
- 6 Tablespoons Wilton Meringue Powder (dried egg white powder)
- 3/4 cup water
- Ziploc quart-sized freezer bags
- Wilton gel coloring--I used red, pink, blue, yellow, purple, green
(Icing can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. To do this, either place icing in separate bags and squeeze out the excess air, or place in an airtight container with a moist paper towel pressed directly against the icing surface.)
- In a large mixer bowl, using a hand-held mixer on low speed, beat the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. The icing should be stiff and look shiny.
- Divide the icing into separate small bowls (I used 7, including a bowl of white). Add a small amount of gel coloring--this can be very strong! Experiment with a small amount first, and then add more if you would like a more vibrant color. Mix well and place in separate Ziploc bags. Snip a very small hole in the corner of the bag to use as a decorating tip. (Trust me from experience...once you cut the hole too big, it's a pain to get a new bag!)
- Enjoy decorating!