I used to think gingerbread cookies were for decorating only. They were always teeth-shattering hard. But these cookies—they’re sturdy enough to decorate and soft enough to eat, using a super easy powdered sugar icing (not royal icing). Friends don’t let friends make rock hard gingerbread cookies. Bookmark this post.
Friends also don’t let friends sweat over cookie decorating. Piping straight lines once a year, mid-December is hard. I’m hoping to make this experience a little more pleasant and pretty this year with the stippled Nordic sweater look. Decorate smart, not hard.
To create the patterns, wear a Nordic Sweater or do a google image search for inspiration. Vary the size of the dots for visual interest. Create lines using a dotted pattern. Keep a toothpick around for dragging dots into shapes. (For example, you can create a heart this way from three dots.) And, when in doubt, add more dots.
I’m swapping these cookies with some of my blog friends around the states. See their recipes below. I’m also bringing them to a Red, White, and Nordic Sweater party later this week. (The red and white stands for wine.)
Nordic Gingerbread Cookies
These gingerbread cookies are sturdy enough to decorate and soft enough to eat. They also boast the easiest powdered sugar decorating icing (not royal icing). This recipe is adapted from Always Eat Dessert.
- 3/4 c. (12 tbsp.) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
- 1/2 c. molasses
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 3 1/4 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Begin creaming. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy.
Meanwhile, combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together to evenly combine. Set aside.
To the creaming ingredients, add the molasses and egg and mix until evenly combined. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again to combine. Dough will be on the dry side. Divide dough in half and wrap with plastic wrap in a 1-inch thick disk for at least one hour.
Roll out the cookies. Remove dough from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough until about 1/4" thick. Using a 2.75" round cookie cutter (or similar), cut out dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly knead dough scraps together until no seams are visible and then roll out again until all the dough has been used. Bake for 6-7 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before relocating to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Make the icing. In a plastic sandwich bag folded over a cup, add icing. Snip a very tiny corner off the edge of the bag and pipe tiny dots on the cookies. Vary sizes of dots of visual interest. Use Nordic patterns for guidance. Once the icing hardens (this happens really fast) store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.