Peppery bourbon gingerbread cookies with orangeĀ glaze

October 20, 2011
5 Ratings
  • Makes 2-3 dozen
Author Notes

I was never a big gingerbread fan until I tried a recipe from Tartine, which I used as a base here. The addition of black pepper makes this gingerbread have a real kick, so I decided to take that up a couple extra notches by making an orange glaze and adding bourbon to the cookie dough since it complements molasses beautifully. You can make these into small round cookies or the classic men...or, if you're like me and like to buy those $1 cookie cutters from Sur La Table, you can make wiener dog cookies! —JessicaBakes

What You'll Need
  • Cookies
  • 3 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup
    2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice (freshly squeezed!)
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  1. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. For the pepper, I found it easiest to just grind into a bowl and scoop it out with the measuring spoons. Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Slowly add the sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth and soft. Add the egg and orange zest and mix well. Add the molasses and corn syrup and beat until incorporated. Throughout this process, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowls to make sure everything is getting mixed evenly. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until a dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl and everything is well incorporated. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on some plastic wrap, press it out to be a disk about 1-inch thick, wrap and place in the fridge overnight (or just 8 hours).
  3. After chilling, remove the dough, give it a couple minutes to get malleable and, while waiting, lightly flour your work surface, line some baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gingerbread gets very sticky very quickly, so consider yourself warned--work quickly!
  4. There are a couple of options you can choose from here. One is that you don't roll it out at all--just make small cookies by rolling it out in your hands, pressing it down and baking like that. If you want designs, roll the dough out to 1/3" thickness and cut as desired. Because the cookies will be glazed, designs in the top of the cookies look beautiful and are recommended!
  5. Bake for 7-15 minutes, depending on whether your rolled your dough out or hand-rolled. Look for slightly darker edges and a tender middle.
  6. Once your first batch is in the oven, make the glaze in a small bowl by whisking together the powdered sugar, bourbon and orange juice. Once the cookies come out of the oven, let them cool for about 7-10 minutes before lightly glazing them with a pastry brush.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Niknud
  • JessicaBakes
  • ingsquid
  • Rikki G
    Rikki G

6 Reviews

ingsquid December 8, 2020
What can I use instead of corn syrup?
JessicaBakes December 9, 2020
Hi there! I do strongly recommend the corn syrup for texture and flavor, so if you can get it, please do. I know we all hate corn syrup but it is only 2 tbsp. If you either can't get it or really don't want to use it, corn syrup has a similar (though not identical) texture to molasses, so you could consider amping that up. Obviously that will have an impact on flavor as well though. Hope you like the flavor of molasses! :)
Rikki G. February 10, 2013
I just made these for my boyfriend for an early Valentine's day present. They were fantastic. I have a feeling they will requested frequently in the future. Thank you!
Barbara B. December 11, 2011
Hi. I'm in the middle of making these -- they look amazing. But I can't find pepper in the ingredients and I'm not sure how much to add. Thanks!
JessicaBakes December 11, 2011
I'm so sorry...a bunch of the recipes I added at this time had stuff removed. It's 1 1/2 tsp.
Niknud October 24, 2011
You had me at bourbon! :)