- 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 butter, melted
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 egg
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ground fennel. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar and orange zest. Mix on a medium speed until the mixture 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, half a cup at a time.
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 large cookie cutter.*
Place cookies on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
*Make Over Methods
Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a little heart in the gingerbread man. Drop a few cinnamon candies (such as Redhots) into the heart and bake. If the candies aren’t completely melted, while they’re still warm, press the cinnamon candies so they spread to fill up the heart. Let cool and decorate.
Angry Gingerbread Man
Using a fluted cookie cutter or just a paring knife, cut off either an arm or a leg from the gingerbread man. Bake and let cool. Decorate them and make sure to give them a frown or angry face when you decorate them!
Gingy the Snowman
Once cool, frost the gingerbread man with white frosting. Cut a small orange candy (such as Starburst) into quarters. Roll them so that they look like a carrot nose. Cut a rope licorice into a bunch of tiny pieces. Use them to make his eyes and mouth!
Dancing Gingerbread Man
Cut off the legs. Use your fingers to spread the bottom of the gingerbread man out to make enough room to cut out two finger-size 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
Once cool, use a piping bag with some white frosting in it to 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
Once the cookies are on the baking 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 and bake. Let cool and decorate.
Drunk Gingerbread Man
While the cookies are 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.