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from "Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book" by Judy Rosenberg

It's hard to improve on this classic recipe, or on the classic shape of pudgy little people in their three-button uniforms. My kids love them; they are a part of our holiday ritual each winter. Sometimes we poke little holes in them before we bake them, so they can be displayed as ornaments on a Christmas tree. Despite their name, this dough can be used to cut out all kids of shapes, depending on the time of year or simply the mood you're in.

Makes about fifteen 5-inch-tall gingerbread people
 Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book

For the Cookies
2 tablespoons dark molasses
1 tablespoon water
1 large whole egg
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 16 pieces

For the Decorations
Red-hot cinnamon candies

For the Icing
2 3/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, plus 2 tablespoons if needed
2 large egg whites at room temperature

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1. Using a whisk, vigorously stir the molasses, water, and egg together in a small bowl or cup, and set aside.
2. Place the flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, orange zest, and all of the spices in a food processor and process for 10 seconds.
3. Distribute the butter over the flour mixture, and process until the dough resembles coarse meal, about 30 seconds.
4. Pour the molasses mixture over the flour mixture, and process just until the dough comes together, about 35 seconds.
5. Remove the dough from the processor, place it on a work surface, and knead it for several seconds.
6. Divide the dough into two slabs, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
7. When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
8. Remove one slab of dough from the refrigerator and place it between two new pieces of plastic wrap. Roll it out 1/8 inch thick.
9. Remove the top piece of plastic wrap, and using a 5-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many "people" as you can. Using a spatula, place the cookies on a prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them. Place currants for the eyes and little cinnamon candies for buttons and the mouth, pressing them down slightly into the dough.
10. Repeat with the second slab. Then re-roll the scraps and repeat with that dough.
11. Place the cookies in the oven and bake until firm, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheet or on wire racks.
12. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the icing: Place a writing tip on a pastry bag. Set the bag in a tall glass, tip side down, and set it aside. Place the confectioners' sugar and the egg whites in a medium-size bowl, and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed for 30 seconds. Then change to medium-high speed and beat until smooth, 3 minutes. The icing should be stiff enough to pipe. If it's not, add up to 2 tablespoons additional confectioners' sugar.
13. Fill the bag with the icing and pipe decorations, as desired, onto the completely cooled cookies. Allow the icing to set for several hours.
14. Although it's hard to imagine that there would be any gingerbread people left over with kids around, leave the cookies out for a day so the glaze is totally hard, then store them at room temperature for 1 week in an airtight plastic container with plastic wrap, parchment, or waxed paper between the layers. If they are not frosted, the gingerbread people can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 weeks.

Buy The Ingredients
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
  Grandma's Unsulfered Molasses - $3.99/ea
 12fl oz
  Navel Orange - $1.79/ea Save! 4 for $6
  Domino Powdered Confectioners Sugar - $2.19/ea
  Domino Light Brown Sugar - $1.69/ea
Optional Decorations
  FreshDirect Dried Currants
This product is currently unavailable.
  Cinnamon Imperials
This product is currently unavailable.
You May Already Have
  Just FreshDirect Unbleached All-Purpose Flour - $4.29/ea
  Nature's Yoke Natural Cage-Free Large White Eggs - $3.99/ea
 1 dozen
  Arm & Hammer Baking Soda - $1.39/ea
  La Baleine Fine Sea Salt - $4.69/ea
  Spice Supreme Ground Cinnamon - $1.29/ea
  FreshDirect Ground Cloves
This product is currently unavailable.
  Spice Supreme Ground Nutmeg - $1.99/ea
Estimated Total:  
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