Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

First-time gingerbread cookie maker puts recipe to test


Emily Rotenberg

A plate of iced gingerbread cookies.

Emily Rotenberg

Once the calendar changes to December 1, the holiday spirit begins. I love seeing all of the Christmas decorations, holiday ads on tv, and most importantly eating all of the festive Christmas cookies. As a Jew, my family and I don’t celebrate Christmas, meaning I don’t participate in many traditions and festivities that make up the holiday season. This includes eating and baking all of the wonderful foods. 

Although there are some delicious foods eaten during Hanukkah, I have always enjoyed the fun baked goods that are eaten around Christmas, so I decided to bake gingerbread cookies. I chose a recipe from a cookbook at my house and gave it my best shot. 



⅓ cup shortening

1 cup of brown sugar (packed)

1 ½ cups of dark molasses

⅔ cup cold water

7 cups Gold Medal Flour

2 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. cinnamon



  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Mix shortening, sugar, and molasses thoroughly. Then stir in water. Measure flour and blend all other dry ingredients. (My dough was a little more on the dry side so I would maybe add a little less flour than recommended) Stir and chill in the fridge for a little bit. 
  3. Roll out the dough until it’s sound ¼” thick on a lightly floured board. I definitely made mine a little thicker so they have more of a cakey consistency rather than a more cookie consistency. Then cut the gingerbread with cookie cutters. 
  4. Place far apart on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. 


Despite the fact that I had some technical issues with my dough and cookie cutters, the cookies came out of the oven looking really good. My house smelled like gingerbread for the rest of the day and my whole family said they turned out better than they expected. Making the dough wasn’t too difficult but it did turn out a little dry and crumbly. I didn’t know if this was how it was supposed to be or if I had done something wrong so I just kept following the directions. They ended up turning out very big and puffy which was really exciting. 

Another thing that was a little challenging is that after I had made the dough, I realized I didn’t have the proper gingerbread cookie cut outs. So instead of making the traditional gingerbread person, I made hearts, circles, and stars which was still really fun. Overall, my experience making gingerbread cookies was really good and I am definitely going to try making them again.