- 4 cups flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel (optional)
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- Zest of an orange
- 1 egg
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ground fennel, if using. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, combine melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar and orange zest. Mix on medium speed until the mixture is well incorporated. Add in the egg and beat for another minute or two. Turn the mixer to its slowest speed and slowly add in the flour mixture in half-cup portions.
Turn the dough onto some plastic wrap. Wrap it tightly and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight. (You can also pop it into the freezer and save it for a later use.)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
On a well-floured surface, roll the cookie dough out until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the gingerbread men with a cookie cutter and place them on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
Dancing Gingerbread Man
Roll the cookie dough out on a well-floured surface. Cut out a few gingerbread men using a large cookie cutter. Cut off their legs. Using your fingers spread the bottom of the gingerbread man out to make enough room to cut out two finger sized holes. Using the back of a pastry tip, cut out two holes on the bottom of the gingerbread man. Carefully place them on a cookie sheet and bake. Let cool and decorate.
Rudolph the Gingerbread Man
Roll out, cut and bake the gingerbread men. Let cool. Using a piping bag with some white frosting in it, draw a big circle covering the head of the gingerbread man. While the frosting is still sticky, dip it in some red sanding sugar to create a big red nose. Pipe on two eyes in the center of the gingerbread man. Starting from between his eyes, pipe antlers up the legs of the gingerbread man.
Hugging Gingerbread Man
Roll the cookie dough out on a well-floured surface. Cut out a few gingerbread men using a large cookie cutter. Put them onto a cookie sheet. Place a peppermint candy or a sprig of rosemary on the gingerbread man’s chest. Carefully fold his arms over the rosemary or peppermint. Bake in the oven. Let cool and decorate.
Drunk Gingerbread Man
Roll out, cut and bake the gingerbread men. Remove the gingerbread men from the oven and, while they’re still hot, remove them into a martini glass, mug or, if you’re making them for a crowd, a muffin pan. Allow them to cool in the glass. Once cool, decorate them accordingly. When you’re ready to serve pour some eggnog, hot cocoa or milk over them and serve immediately.