These crunchy gingerbread cookies are perfect to make and decorate with little ones. The dough is very easy to make and these cookies taste amazing.
Baking Christmas cookies is not a Bolivian or Paraguayan custom, although more people are baking them now.
I started baking Christmas cookies after I got married, and since then I've been trying many different recipes. I love baking different kinds of cookies and give them as Christmas gifts to our friends. Every year I promise myself not to bake too many cookies because here in Paraguay in December is very hot and we don't have air conditioning. After baking a few cookies, our house feels like an oven too. But since they look so nice, I end up making way too many 🙂
Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorites, and the flavor is unique especially with a cup of tea. I hope you like it too.
These cookies are made with vegetable shortening, which remains solid at room temperature. It has a neutral flavor and is great for making shaped cookies as it helps the dough keep its shape while baking.
When cutting these gingerbread cookies, try to cut close together. The more you roll out this dough the less crispy and tender these cookies are.
Once the cookies are at room temperature, they can be decorated or stored in airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
The icing is super easy to make. You'll need about an hour for the icing to set properly.
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3-3/4 cups icing sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, molasses, and egg.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well (if your mixer is too small to do this step, use your hands or a spatula).
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough. Cut with a cookie cutter dipped in flour.
Place the cookies on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350°F / 180°C for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are firm.
Remove and place on wire racks to cool. Decorate as desired.
For the icing: combine all the ingredients and beat until smooth. Transfer to plastic bag and cut a small hole in a corner of the bag; pipe icing onto cookies.
To store: Place unfrosted cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Before serving, thaw cookies, if frozen and decorate.