As the holiday season rolls around, the warm, spicy aroma of gingerbread fills the air, bringing back nostalgic memories and a sense of cozy comfort. This recipe elevates a classic treat with a fun twist – Cinnamon & Sugar. These cookies are not just any ordinary gingerbread; they’re soft, gooey, and sweet, adorned with a generous coating of cinnamon and sugar, making them the perfect addition to your holiday parties.

Why do gingerbread cookies need to be chilled before baking?

Chilling the dough is crucial for several reasons. It allows the butter to solidify, which prevents the cookies from spreading too much while baking. This results in a thicker, softer cookie. Additionally, chilling the dough allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the overall taste.

Can I use molasses substitutes in cookies?

Molasses is a key ingredient in gingerbread, giving it its distinct flavor and color. While substitutes like honey or maple syrup can be used, they will alter the flavor profile significantly. For authentic gingerbread taste, stick to molasses.

Cinnamon Gingerbread cookies on a Christmas Platter

How do I ensure my cookies are soft and not hard? 

The key to soft gingerbread cookies lies in the baking time. Over-baking is the common culprit for hard cookies. Bake them just until they are set, but still soft to the touch. Visually, as soon as they no longer look shiny, they are done. They will firm up as they cool.

Can gingerbread cookie dough be frozen for later use?

Yes, gingerbread cookie dough freezes exceptionally well. First, scoop the dough into balls with a cookie scoop and set in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then, place the dough balls in a freezer bag. When ready to use, remove from your freezer and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake as normal.

3 tips for the perfect cinnamon sugar gingerbread cookies:

  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature for uniform mixing.
  • When mixing the dough, avoid overworking it to prevent tough cookies.
  • Rolling the dough balls in cinnamon and sugar adds an extra layer of flavor and texture.
Cinnamon Gingerbread cookies on a Christmas Platter

How do you store gingerbread cookies?

Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For freezing, place the baked cookies in a single layer in a freezer-safe container. You can stack more layers on if you separate each one with parchment paper. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

What is in a cinnamon sugar gingerbread cookie?

Unsalted butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough and it will result in an over salted treat.

Butter adds fats to your dough which helps with moistness, flavor & texture. Butter melts at body temperature, which creates a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation.

When baking with butter the temperature is important. If the butter is too warm your cookies will melt down too fast and spread too much in the oven leaving you with a greasy, flat cookie. If butter is too cold it will have the opposite problem and not melt down enough, leaving your cookies too thick.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is granulated sugar with a little molasses mixed in. Molasses is a more bitter natural sweetener which actually makes the sugar a bit sweeter than plain granulated sugar. Brown sugar draws more moister into your treat and is more acidic, that means it will help make baking soda react.

Eggs

Adds both protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick cookies. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters together and help your dough from collapsing.

Vanilla extract

When using pure vanilla extract, it will add the deep rich flavor everybody wants in a treat.

Molasses

Is a natural sweetener that has a distinct tangy flavor.

All-purpose flour

Flour builds structure as it absorbs liquids and expands. All-purpose flour falls in the middle of bread flour (high in gluten) and cake flour (low in gluten). It is exactly what it is named, all-purpose, the most universal flour that can be used in most baked goods. 

Baking soda

Elevates the pH level of your batter. It increases the spread in cookies and gives the crispy outside, soft inside texture everyone loves. Baking soda needs both an acid and a liquid to react. Things that will make baking soda react are: vinegar, fruit juice, molasses, brown sugar, tartar, buttermilk, sour cream. Baking soda only reacts once, right when its mixed into your batter it will create little air bubbles all throughout your treat. When the air bubbles get heated up in the oven, they expand.

Fine sea salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so that it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your cookie, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

Ginger, Cinnamon & Cloves

Seasonings that add a spice to your baked treat.

Nutmeg

Seasoning that adds a nutty flavor to your baked treat.

Cinnamon & sugar mixture

Adds a sweet, spiced coating when the cookie dough balls are rolled in a bowl of your cinnamon sugar mixture.

Cinnamon Gingerbread cookies on a Christmas Platter

Recommended equipment:

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Cinnamon Sugar Gingerbread Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Servings: 24
Gingerbread brings back sweet memories of holidays past. These cookies are soft, gooey and sweet. The perfect treat for those holiday parties.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • cinnamon sugar mixture ratio is personal preference

Instructions

  • In a standing mixer combine sugar and butter, whip on medium high speed for 1-2 minutes until lighter in color and texture
  • Stir in eggs & vanilla
  • Add in molasses and mix until combined
  • In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg)
  • Turn the standing mixer on low and slowly pour in the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together
  • Cover mixer bowl and place dough in the fridge to rest for 1-3 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and scoop out cookie dough balls. Roll each ball in a cinnamon sugar mixture until fully coated
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies no longer look shiny
  • Leave on the pan for 10 minutes before removing to finish cooling

Nutrition

Calories: 237kcal Carbohydrates: 37g Protein: 3g Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 41mg Sodium: 156mg Potassium: 206mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 17g Vitamin A: 267IU Vitamin C: 0.01mg Calcium: 40mg Iron: 2mg

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Cinnamon Gingerbread cookies on a Christmas Platter