Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

November 24, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food stylist: Kate Buckens. Prop stylist: Suzie Myers.
Author Notes

I love to make festive decorated cutout cookies around the holidays, I prefer a softer, chewier cookie to the ones that are quite crisp. Enter: these ultra chewy gingerbread cookies. They use the reverse creaming method, which ensures a smoother mix with this ratio (which is high in molasses). They require a little extra chilling to ease the handling, but you reap the chewy rewards after baking—and they stay chewy for days and days. I hereby deem them worth it in every way. These are the gingerbread cookie you’ll find me slipping into cookie boxes each holiday season—and just about everyone who tries one asks for the recipe! —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Watch This Recipe
Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • makes about 3 pounds (1.37 kg) dough and about 2 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters
  • 4 1/4 cups (510 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (212 grams) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon (2 grams) ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon (<1 gram) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon (<1 gram) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon (15 gram) portions
  • 1 large (56 grams) egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (340 grams) molasses (not blackstrap)
In This Recipe
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, pepper, and nutmeg on low speed to combine.
  2. Add the butter to the mixer and mix on medium speed until the mixture is uniformly combined—it should look like the consistency of cornmeal. Add the egg and molasses and mix on low speed until an even dough forms, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Form the dough into 2 even disks, about 1 in/2.5 cm thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bring to room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper, and have a few extra sheets of parchment paper ready. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to ¼ in/6 mm thick. Peel the parchment away occasionally while you work to make sure it’s not sticking to the dough (you can use a little flour, but only if needed).
  5. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut shapes out of the chilled dough. Gently remove the excess dough, and press it back together. Transfer the cut shapes to the prepared baking sheets—the cookies can be fairly close (within about ½ in/1 cm), they won’t spread much. Stagger the rows of cookies to help fit as many cookies onto the baking sheet as possible (you may require more trays if you’re using lots of different shapes).
  6. Press all the scrap dough into a 1 in/2.5 cm disk, and re-roll, chill, and cut as directed above.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C with the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  8. Bake the trays of cookies in batches. While the cookies do not need to be chilled before baking, chilling them can help achieve more defined shapes, which can be helpful with more complex shapes. If you’re doing a simple shape—or like a softer/rounded/less defined look—chilling isn’t necessary. Bake until the cookies brown lightly around the edges and appear set, 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Cookies will be fragile when they first come out of the oven, so cool them on the baking sheets for a few minutes (3 to 5), then use a spatula to remove them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, is out on November 10th, 2020.

1 Review

VeganBaker November 27, 2021
I veganized these! And they're great!

I did a 1:1 substitution of the following ingredients:
- 1 flax egg for the 1 chicken egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds/flax meal + 3 tbsp water, let sit 10 minutes once combined)
- Earth Balance vegan spread instead of butter. I used the spread in the tub, but it would probably have worked exactly the same (or better) with the sticks.

My batter looked a little more liquidy (probably due to higher water content in the tub Earth Balance vs sticks) than Erin's (in the video), so I added a sprinkle more flour (~1/4 cup) before I refrigerated the dough.

I followed the method exactly.

I made a "royal" icing with icing sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract thinned to a pipeable consistency and iced with that.

Yay, thank you for this great recipe! It's a keeper.