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+ servings
Gingerbread cookies stacked on a cooling rack, with a mug of coffee and cinnamon sticks in the background.
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5 from 1 vote

Gingerbread Star Cookies

Gingerbread star cookies are a sweet, simple spin on a Christmas tradition. Crisp edges, chewy centers, flavored with brown sugar, molasses, and spices!

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 16 tablespoons, 227 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup (213 grams) brown sugar tightly packed (light or dark is fine)
  • 1 cup (340 grams) molasses
  • 1 large egg

For the Icing:

  • 3 cups  (340 grams) powdered sugar
  • 5-6 Tablespoons water at or near room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of table salt

Instructions

  • To make the dough, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices; set aside.
  • Using a hand or stand-mixer, blend the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the molasses and egg until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into two roughly equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, flatten slightly into a disc, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. (This makes it much easier to roll out the dough later!)
  • Transfer discs to the fridge and chill for at least one hour, or overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C), and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • Working with one dough disc at a time, and leaving the other in the fridge, roll the dough out on a well-floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. (*See tips for this below!) 
  • Arrange cookie shapes on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  
  • To make the icing, whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add water a few drops at a time to reach the desired consistency; to hold its shape on the cookies, the icing should be fairly thick. As a test, if you drizzle a bit with the whisk, the ribbon of icing will hold for a few seconds before melting back into the icing. If the icing becomes too thin, simply add more powdered sugar to stiffen it back up. If desired, add liquid or gel food coloring. 
  • Decorate cooled cookies as desired. The cookies can be left uncovered for 24 hours while the icing sets and hardens, then stacked and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Cookies will keep this way for 4-5 days.

Notes

  1. *My best advice for cutting out the cookies is that if the dough is sticking or the cookies are breaking apart as you try to cut and lift them up, sprinkle more flour - on the work surface, on your rolling pin, on the dough itself, on everything! It's pretty hard to overdo the flour at this point, and the process should NOT be overly difficult. If rolling/cutting is a struggle-fest, you need more flour!
  2. It also helps to roll out the dough a bit, then lift it up and flip over back onto the floured work surface before continuing to roll. This prevents the underside from becoming "glued" to the work surface when you try to transfer the cut-outs to baking sheets.
  3. To make-ahead.. baked, unfrosted cookies freeze well for 2-3 months. Simply thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, then decorate as desired.

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 170kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 115mg, Potassium: 136mg, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 125IU, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 0.9mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!