The best part of marriage is creating Christmas traditions together. In a world of Christmas cookies, there are so many options to choose from. How can we possibly make a decision? We default to what we know and trust; family traditions. One of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes is my grandmother’s soft and chewy gingerbread cookies. It’s time to break out the Kitchenaid!
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. If you are using metal cookie sheets, line with parchment paper. A candy thermometer would be useful but we have never used one. Baking is all about the love, right?
- 1 cup dark molasses
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 4 teaspoons ground ,cinnamon
- ¾ tablespoon baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp (We’ve used salted butter with no problem)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Place the molasses, sugars, ginger and cinnamon in a double boiler over medium heat. We actually don’t own a double boiler so we use a smaller pot placed inside of larger pot filled with medium temperature water. It seriously works about the same. When the sugar has melted, add the baking soda and stir. If you wait too long, the sugar may burn and it will ruin the flavor so be vigilant. When the mixture bubbles up, remove from heat. The reaction may shock you but it’s all part of the fun.
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the hot molasses mix and stir well. Let the mix cool to about 90 degrees F. Gradually add the flour, one cup at a time, while beating (this is best done in an electric mixer!). This dough is seriously thick. Many wood spoons have lost their lives.
With your dense and wonderful dough in fine form, shape it into a neat rectangle, place on a well-floured board and roll out until ¼ inch thick. Cut into shapes and bake. We have a medley of cookie cutters, but true to living in New England, we have a moose, a trout, and christmas tree cutter from New Hampshire.
Throw your cookies into your 325 degree oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
My wife actually fell in love with these cookies before she fell in love with me. Back when she had no interest in me, I packed about a hundred of these cookies for a church Christmas cookie drive. In the ocean of Christmas cookies and the late hours of planning for the Christmas service, my wife would sneak cookies from the pile and she just so happened to be taking the ones I had made. When we started dating the following Christmas, I made these cookies again and all of the sudden it clicked and well, the rest is history.
If you loved these cookies or have other fun baking traditions, we’d love to hear about it!