Gingerbread cookies are a classic Christmas treat and they can be decorated elaborately, or not at all – it’s totally up to you!
For the Cookies:
½ cup unsalted butter softened
½ cup light or dark brown sugar, tightly packed
½ cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the Icing:
3 cups powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Decorative candies and sprinkles
Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat until well-creamed.
Add molasses and beat until combined, then stir in the egg and vanilla extract.
In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add dry ingredients to the wet until completely combined.
Scrape dough roughly into a ball (it will be sticky, use a spatula), wrap completely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375F.
Generously flour a clean surface and lightly flour the dough as well (see note).
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to ¼” thickness, and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (or an ungreased cookie sheet), transfer to 375F oven, and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool on a baking sheet for at least 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
Once cookies have cooled, prepare to frost and decorate.
For the Icing:
Combine sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined. If frosting is too thick, add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is thick but pipeable. Transfer to a piping bag with a piping tip, and pipe frosting onto cookies in desired pattern.
Allow frosting to harden before enjoying.