The Best Gingerbread Cookies

Posted on December 5th, 2010 by Jean


 
As far back as I can remember, my family has baked these Winter Gingerland Cookies. Mom found the original recipe in a newspaper during the 1960’s. The clipping is long gone, but her hand-written note remains.
 
I’m continuing this tradition with my daughters. They’re a great help in the kitchen, and enjoy themselves along the way. The secret is to keep it fun and lend a hand.
 
The kids can add the ingredients, roll the dough, cut out the cookies, and most importantly, decorate them! We buy Betty Crocker icing in tubes. The plastic, interchangeable tips are less than $3. at your local grocery store.
 
Press play when you’re ready to see how easy this recipe is, and rock out with Hip Hop Jingle Bells!
 

 
Here are some of my favorite photos from the day. Hot cookies cool on the stove while our kitten, Lucy, undecorates the tree.
 

 
Family enjoying cookies.
 

 
Oldest daughter draws a gingerbread man while youngest daughter continues to play with the dough.
 

 
β€’ What traditional treat do you bake during the holidays?
β€’ Do you have kittens in your tree?
β€’ How do you prefer your Jingle Bells?

 

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THIS COOKIE RECIPE compliments of JeanHasBeenShopping.com

Jean photo B16123E10292F5D0137E3C112C0110E4_zpsa65858d2.png

60 Responses to "The Best Gingerbread Cookies"

  1. I remember baking things for the Christmas holidays when I was younger! I think we made mince pies and cookies! It was always good fun. The ones your daughters have made look much better than my skills!

    I’m not sure if I have a kitten in my tree at home. The chances are that our kitten is causing havoc anyway. I’ll find out when I return home in two weeks!

    Your photographs are excellent! They really capture the warmth of Christmas!

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    Jean Reply:

    LOL, Jason. I’m sure your skills are better, but you are kind.
    Kitties are trouble!
    Thanks so much! Early Merry Christmas wishes to you.

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  2. These cookies are my favorites! I love Lucy in the tree. Molly’s been climbing ours. We just put it up a few hours ago… pictures to follow. πŸ™‚

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    Jason Reply:

    How interesting, my kitten is called Molly also!

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    Jean Reply:

    Sunny, did you make a batch of these this year too?
    Jason, Sunny is my sister.
    Jason, Sunny.
    Sunny, Jason.
    Jason writes a fantastic blog, and is studying to become an opthalmologist. (Did I butcher that word?) Request his password if you are interest (the blog is private).

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    Jason Reply:

    Nice to meet you Sunny!
    Thanks for mentioning my blog, you are kind to say it’s fantastic! πŸ™‚ I’m studying to be an optometrist (I’m not quite bright enough to be an ophthalmologist!)
    And due to a recent change of heart I have removed the password, so everyone is welcome!

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    Jean Reply:

    Thanks for clarifying, Jason. I must admit, I had to google the definition of both optometrist and opthalmologist! LOL!
    I thought your blog was easy access, but I thought my computer had stored your password. That’s awesome news!

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    Jason Reply:

    No worries Jean – yes, it took me a while to understand the difference between them – although I am sure my job is the better choice πŸ™‚
    And yes, I thought if I wanted to properly get into the blogging community I had better let my blog be seen by others!

    (I will say this is my favourite one so far!)

    Jean Reply:

    Thank you, Jason!

  3. It looks like everyone had a fun and delicious time! Your recipe is very similar to the one I use to make gingerbread houses (or a g-bread Hummer, which Holden is working on now). Mine omits egg and vinegar, but is better for construction rather than eating. I’ll bet yours is much more moist and yummy!! I’ll have to try it. Thanks for sharing!!

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    Jean Reply:

    Deanna, I was just watching a show on the food network about gingerbread houses. They cook theirs for 15 minutes, and spray them with water first. Do you use any tricks like that to prevent crumbling? I hope your houses win this year!
    Thanks for swinging by & commenting. xoxo

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    Deanna Reply:

    I’ve never heard of the water spraying trick. I’ll have to check that out! I’ve never had an issue with crumbling. The cookie recipe is very crisp (more like a ginger snap), and the secret to keeping it together is all in the royal icing. That stuff is like glue! After the holidays, we usually sit our house outside for the birds to nibble on, and even after heavy rain/snow, it stands for a long time.

    Summer and I were going to do an exhibition house this year, but ran out of time, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for Holden’s Hummer. Thanks! πŸ™‚

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    Jean Reply:

    That is so nice to leave the houses outside for the birds!
    Best of luck to Holden! Keep me posted.

  4. Love the cat in the tree!

    I always try and bake during the holidays. I’m going crazy looking for just a Gingerbread cookie cutter set, every time I pick one up in the store it already has the gingerbread in it. Just needs assembled. Not what I want. I used to have an awesome cutter kit but it’s packed up in a storage bin at my mom’s somewhere.
    I guess I should have listened to my boyfriend and just ordered it online like he told me to a week before Tgiving.
    I love Christmas traditions. Love the video of you and the girls. Great photos too. Girls did a superb job on the cookies!
    Sherri recently posted..Holiday Food Shopping Black Friday Ummm No Thanks!

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    Jean Reply:

    Sherri, I love the cat in the tree too, even if I have to rehang a few ornaments that have hit the floor. She is darling!
    Hmmm… I don’t know where to find that cutter set. Sounds like your boyfriend was right about ordering it.
    Thank you! I loved jumping in to help the girls, and the cookies are really tasty.

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  5. Lol, no we don’t have a kitten in our tree…so cute.

    Love all you pictures.
    Bibi recently posted..Crafts With Kids – Candy Cane Candle Centerpiece

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    Jean Reply:

    Thank you, Bibi!
    Your Candy Cane Candle craft looks lovely & easy to create.

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  6. The gingerbread cookies are the b est, aren’t they??

    So very much fun to decorate, and dress up..

    Oh, and so good to eat.

    Hey, and you have snowflakes falling here…for a minute I thought my retinas had detached.
    Alexandra recently posted..For Narnia!!!!

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    Jean Reply:

    They are so good, Alexandra! I was just nibbling on one.
    Yes, snowflakes! They fell automatically last year on my wordpress blog, so this year I found a plugin.
    I really enjoyed Baby E’s post tonight! He writes so well!

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  7. I haven’t made gingerbread in years, maybe I will give it a try this Christmas.
    Michelle Saunderson recently posted..Making Progress

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    Jean Reply:

    Michelle, your chocolate chip cookies looked so scrumptious, my daughter was trying to grab them through the monitor.
    I know you have a lot on your baking plate, but gingerbread is so tasty! πŸ™‚

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  8. What a great video of the girls baking! Likes like everyone had an awesome time πŸ™‚ My mom has German Christmas cookie recipes somewhere (deeelish!). Haven’t made them since we were young, but it was a tradition I definitely looked forward to each year.

    And CUUUUTE KITEH! Awww, love the pic!
    Charlotte recently posted..It took me a long time to get back on the train

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    Jean Reply:

    Charlotte, I’ll bet your German cookies are beautiful & scrumptious!
    The kiteh is el rotten-oh! LOL!

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  9. Oooh yummy! I like my mom to do the baking and me to do the eating, hehe.
    Krysten recently posted..101 in 1001 Update

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    Jean Reply:

    Sounds perfect, Krysten. I hope your Mom bakes you plenty of goodies this Christmas.

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  10. Send me some!

    [Reply]

    Jean Reply:

    I’d better hurry, James! They are almost all gone!

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  11. Your girls could host their own cooking show. That is how cute that video was.
    (Florida) Girl with a New Life recently posted..Little Things I Love for Xmas

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    Jean Reply:

    Thank you, Florida Girl! You are so kind!

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  12. I bake brownies and cheesecake. Nothing says, ‘holidays’ like an extra 5lbs of fat around my waist.
    Pop recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- Juicy Couture’s Got Nothing on These Thighs

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    Jean Reply:

    Oh, Pop, I’ve got the extra lbs from this year AND last year. Boo.
    Enjoy the brownies and cheesecake!

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  13. I enjoyed your video SO much. Your family is adorable (as are you), and I wanted to just jump through the screen and bake cookies with you all.
    Helena recently posted..Its like an English fox hunt Only- with children

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    Jean Reply:

    Thank you, Helena! You are welcome to join us in the kitchen ANY time!

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  14. YUM! and FUN! your photos (and video!) are gorgeous and the family time is absolutely perfect! we have the same tradition at our house but i don’t think our cookies turn out quite as lovely as yours! πŸ™‚ and last, but not least, i so love that you mentioned the original recipe and your mom’s handwriting. that just about sums up the good stuff about tradition, doesn’t it? lovely post! πŸ™‚

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    Jean Reply:

    Hi Galit! I need to swing by and see what you’ve been up to! You are one busy woman.
    Thank you! Dare I say it? The cookies are nearly gone! There is one saved for Santa though.
    I do cherish Mom’s hand-written recipes, and feel fortunate to have them.

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    Galit Breen Reply:

    Go ahead, say it! It’ll make me feel better about *our* almost gone cookies (and chocolates and…ahem…I’ll stop there!)! i suppose there *is* always time to bake more, isn’t there?! LOL

    [Reply]

    Jean Reply:

    LOL, Galit! Yes, there’s time to bake more. Happy Holidays!

  15. Even though your cookies look yummy as hell and your videos and photo collages are fabulous, I can’t help but love your cat in the Christmas tree pic. Too darn cute Jean!

    [Reply]

    Jean Reply:

    Girl From The Ghetto, I was lucky to snap that pic. The cat hasn’t been up there since!
    Thanks, Girl!

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  16. Looks like lots of good memories were made!
    1) Usually cookies and white trash, but no time to back this year.
    2. No tree up yet, but hoping the two-year-old cat will be over it.
    3) Classic
    Single Mom in the South recently posted..Friday Fragments- Im Babbling

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  17. Single Mom, I hope your cat is soon climbing your tree. It’s a riot… as long as nothing breaks. ::: fingers crossed :::

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  18. Yummy! Those look great and super delicious. The cookie baking traditions are a new favorite of mine. Growing up we always made gingerbread houses with mom. I’ll never forget those memories!
    Angelia Sims recently posted..Facebook Teenage Angst

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    Jean Reply:

    Hi Angelia – I’ve yet to build a gingerbread house. I’ll bet you have some super tips.
    Merry Christmas!

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    Angelia Sims Hardy Reply:

    Definitely! I hope I have time to make one this year. BTW, Your collages are great! The kitty in the tree is priceless. Lol.
    Angelia Sims Hardy recently posted..It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

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  19. I’m not very into traditions – My husband hates that πŸ˜€ but I usually try to make some shortbread.

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    Jean Reply:

    Yum – shortbread! Carma, that sounds fabulous.
    Happy Holidays to you & yours.

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  20. Yep , kids and cooking are a great, ( if not messy ) combination !!! jam tarts are firm favourite in our house !
    We find betty crocker makes exceedingly good icing too !!
    downloading the recipe now….
    all the best Gareth
    gareth recently posted..Pints of Genius- and bowling do not mix…

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    Jean Reply:

    Jam tarts sound really good! My girls make “fairy sandwiches” with bread, cookie cutters, and jelly.
    Merry Christmas, Gareth! Enjoy the upcoming holidays.

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  21. Happy Monday!
    (Florida) Girl with a New Life recently posted..Your Advice- The Driving Force

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    Jean Reply:

    Happy Monday, (Florida) Girl! I had to dig your comment out of the spam folder. Bad Askimet!

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  22. The video was awesome. I loved how you put that together. This upcoming weekend is our weekend to do our baking with the girls and their friends…so I am printing out your recipe!!

    Your cat is so adorable in that tree too. I no longer have a cat since I moved away from home 20 years ago…but you know…I miss that tree climbing feline!

    Cheers, Jenn
    JennTh recently posted..Christmas at Ash Cave

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    Jean Reply:

    Jenn, have a great time baking this weekend! I know you will.
    Your ornaments are safer without a feline. πŸ˜‰
    I’ll stop by your blog today and try again to comment.

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  23. The time has nearly come for me to start making some. 3 days until I am home…let the baking commence!

    [Reply]

    Jean Reply:

    Jason, I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Safe travels home!

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  24. Jean – Thanks for sharing this recipe. Daughter was out of a school today because of ice storm, so class couldn’t decorate gingerbread cookies before holiday break. I’m going to try this over the weekend! I bought icing to send to school, so that’s half the battle.

    Happy Holidays!
    Diva recently posted..Reading and Crocheting

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    Jean Reply:

    Hi Diva – Enjoy making cookies with your daughter! It’s good you already have the frosting. πŸ˜€ Merry Christmas!

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  25. Your husband has such an important part in this process.

    As important as Lucy’s.

    Merry Christmas!

    Lovely to know you this year.

    Love and peace to all.

    PS..my hubs loved the vid on the monster truck for the girls..ahem.

    [Reply]

    Jean Reply:

    LOL, Alexandra. Hubby did make a cameo in the film, and help eat the cookies, so I’d have to agree with you. That was Lucy’s one and only scaling of the tree, so I’m glad I took the time to appreciate her. Merry Christmas to you too. Oh, thank you for saying your hubby liked the Monster Truck movie! Hahahahaha, her reaction still makes me laugh!

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  26. Beautiful photos, Jean! We’ll be doing these next year – YUM! Merry Christmas! πŸ™‚
    Heather recently posted..Fantastically Funny Friday 12-24-2010 – Happy Holidays to a Bunch of Cool Cats

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    Jean Reply:

    Thank you, Heather! Merry Christmas to you too! We went through these cookies so quickly. Luckily we saved one for Santa.

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