These Gingerbread Men Will Make You Believe in Christmas

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Baking Confession: Last year was the first year I ever baked Gingerbread Men. Ever ever.

It seems crazy, given how often I bake, but I have a great reason: A dear friend, Sue, used to make us a stash of gingerbread men every year, so there really was no need for me to add to the pile.

Sue’s were crispy over-baked, sunken-eyed, slapdash frosted, creatures, and I loved every bite.

She gave “made with love” its literal meaning.

Sue’s much coveted gingerbread men:

Gingerbread Men

When Sue died, I knew if I was ever to have a gingerbread cookie again, it would be up to me to bake them.

My first try turned out fat, fluffy, googly-eyed aliens.

The best part was they tasted just like Sue’s and made me believe in Christmas all over again.


Gingerbread Men

No matter. I’ll try again this month.

Wanna join me in the fun?

Let’s bake!

Gingerbread Men Cookies


1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups dark molasses

2/3 cup cold water

7 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Assorted decorations (Red Hot candy and raisins)


In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Grease cookie sheet lightly with shortening or spray with cooking spray.

On floured surface, roll dough 1/4 inch thick.

Cut with floured gingerbread cutter or other shaped cutter.

On cookie sheet, place cutouts about 2 inches apart.

Place candy or raisins before baking.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched.

Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

Happy Baking (and decorating), y’all!


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  1. I love gingerbread cookies straight from the oven…so good! But I decided that I was a lazy baker who enjoyed eating more than making, so I make “crinkles” cookies by rolling them in colored sugar, flattening them, then baking. So good with your coffee. And yes, the aroma cannot be beat. Happy baking!

  2. I used to make gingerbread cookies every Christmas when my children were small. Then, in an attempt to simplify my life, I started getting them at a local bakery. I confess they taste better, but they are missing the made-with-love factor and the joyful childish decorations. Now I make cookies with the grandchildren, but I’ve left the gingerbread men to the bakery.

    • I love the transitions in life. I plan on making them with Boy, Girl and Sweet E this Christmas and know we’re gonna be laughing at what they look like!

      Thanks for the fun, Christie!

  3. Love these, will definitely try making them!

  4. What a touching story! Made me believe in Christmas even more. Great recipe too.

  5. What a lovely way to remember your friend. She sounds like she was a lovely lady. I think your gingerbread men look great! I haven’t actually ever made them from scratch – it’s still on my list! Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope to see you again this week. Have a great week ahead!


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