1tablespoonapple cider vinegar OR white wine vinegar
Gingerbread Spice Mix:
Make the cookie dough
Place the sugar & butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until combined (you can also do this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, just be careful so you don't overmix the dough). Add the egg, molasses, vinegar and vanilla extract and beat on medium-low speed until fully combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients and the gingerbread spices until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the molasses mix. Mix on low speed just until combined into a soft cookie dough.
Chill the dough
Cover the bowl and chill the cookie dough for at least 3 hours and up to overnight. If you chill it overnight, you may need to let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes so it's easier to roll.
Cut out cookies
Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Divide the dough in 2 and roll each half to ¼ of an inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
Cut out cookies and place them on lined baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Place similarly sized cookies on the same baking sheet!
Bake the cookies
Once you have filled a baking sheet, place it in the oven to bake. Medium-sized cookies take 8-10 minutes to bake. Large gingerbread men take 12-14 minutes to bake. Smaller cookies take 6-8 minutes to bake. They should spring back when you slightly touch their surface, but make sure to not overbake them or they'll turn out tough.
Cool the baked cookies on a baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
Don't overmix the dough - overmixing the egg can yield dough and dry cookies.
Bake the same sizes of cookies together! If you make different sized cookies (for example some gingerbread men, some candy canes and some hearts) and they’re all different sizes, bake them in separate batches.
Cookie yield: This recipe makes about 45-50 mid-sized cookies. It makes about 16 large gingerbread men.
The recipe can be cut in half if you only want a small batch of cookies, but please note that there's one egg in the full recipe, so you're going to have to use half of a beaten egg to make a half batch.
I usually just use a thick powdered sugar icing on these. I combine 2 cups powdered sugar with 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, water or half-and-half.Then I use a squeeze bottle to decorate the cookies with the icing (I just make more if we run out; but I start with a smaller amount in case we get tired of decorating). Feel free to use your favorite royal icing instead!
Store the cooled gingrbread cookies in an airtight container on the coutner for 1-2 weeks (they taste best within the first few days though). Decorated cookies last a little less in my experience.
To freeze the cookie dough: Wrap the finished gingerbread cookie dough tightly in plastic wrap, then label with the name and use-by date and freeze for up to 3 months.When ready to bake, thaw the dough overnight in the fridge (I recommend placing it on a plate to catch any water drips). Then roll, cut and bake as directed in the recipe.To freeze the baked cookies: Freeze baked cookies before decorating them! Cool the cookies completely, then stack them in freezer-friendly containers, separating each layer with a piece of wax paper. Cover tightly with the lid, then label with the name and use-by date and freeze for up to 3 months.To defrost, take out as many cookies as you need and thaw them on a wire rack on the counter for a couple of hours.