Secret Ingredient Soft Gingerbread Cookies
These roll out gingerbread cookies are soft, sweet and lightly spiced. They are quick and easy to make and are perfect for cutout cookies or gingerbread men. This recipe will quickly become a family favorite for the holidays!
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
Like many families, making gingerbread cookies is a one of our holiday traditions. My kids simply adore rolling out the cookie dough and cutting out various shapes for their cookies. We’ve already used this recipe several times in the past month and made both gingerbread men (and ladies!) as well as the stamped cookie version you see below.
I’m sharing this recipe and the secret ingredient that makes it extra special with you today. My friends are also joining me to share their favorite cookie exchange recipes so be sure to check out what they are sharing at the bottom of this post. And as always, a huge thank you goes to Ashley at Modern Glam for organizing this fun blog hop!
I love using cookie stamps with this recipe because the designs come out really crisp. Plus, it makes them look really fancy with very little effort! I picked up several different stamps at HomeGoods this year but I’ve linked up a few other options for you here, too.
I just use a glass to cut out the circles and then lightly press the stamp onto them. My 5-year-old helped me with these ones and his even looked perfect!
This is a recipe that my family has used for many years and secret ingredient really does make a subtle but important different in the flavor. Can you guess what it might be?
It’s cocoa! Yes – a simple tablespoon of regular unsweetened cocoa powder adds that extra something that makes these cookies really special. You won’t see it in a lot of gingerbread recipes but I promise you, you’ll love it!
Sometimes I like to add a simple glaze (confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and melted butter) to the cookies after they’ve cooled but honestly they really don’t need it.
These soft gingerbread cookies make a really great gift since they are quite fancy looking. Just pop them in a cellophane bag or a box and add some ribbon. Your neighbors/teachers/co-workers will love you!
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses. Mix in the applesauce.
- Sift together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low until the dough comes together.
- Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness.
- Using a glass or a round cookie cutter that is slightly larger than your cookie stamp, cut out circles in the dough. Lightly dust your cookie stamp with flour, then press it into the dough using even pressure.
- Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to over bake the cookies – they will be soft when the come up but will firm up a bit.
- Allow to cool for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Thanks for sharing all these great cookie recipes. Cookies are my favorite and I’ve collected recipes for years. I noticed that you added a little ground black pepper to the cookies (along with the secret ingredient cocoa). My grandmother taught me to always add black pepper to any spice type cookie or cake (including fruit cake) as it enhances the other spices. As to the cocoa, that is something I always add to tomato sauces, spaghetti sauces and chili as it cuts the acidity of the tomatoes and deepens the flavor.
Have a great Christmas with your family.