This is a simple & easy recipe for Gingerbread cookies without molasses. You can bake them fresh, or you may freeze the dough for later as well. This Gingerbread cookies recipe is soft, mildly spicy, buttery and perfect for edible Christmas Gift ideas.
In this post, I have also shared substitute for molasses, tips on handling butter rich cookie dough and tips on how to bake cookies in a convection microwave oven in Indian climate.
Ready for an exciting Holiday Baking Season?
Every year as I turn the last page of the calendar, an excitement rushes through me. It must be the joy of baking for the holiday season, I say to myself. And, with that I start prepping for the Plum Cakes, Gingerbread Cakes, and Minced Meat Pies. But NEVER cookies.
I have always been shit scared of baking cookies. I always presumed that all that butter would make it sticky and unmanageable. Boy, I was so wrong! Once you understand the tips & tricks of baking cookies, there’s no stopping you. And that is exactly what happened to me!
So, if you have been putting off that dream of making some gingerbread cookies man for your kids ( or for yourself, no judging!) Time to get the oven on!
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How to make Gingerbread cookies?
Basically this means how to make the dough for gingerbread cookies! It is nothing but Flour, Sugar, Butter & Egg along with spices. That’s just about it! Once you try this recipe for soft gingerbread cookies, you will never go and buy those cookies mix.
Now, as I told you before I made these Gingerbread cookies without molasses. Instead I used honey in this recipe. They turned out perfectly done, soft yet sturdy to hold their shape. Best part is they didn’t spread out during baking. They held their shape and turned out like cute little shining stars!
Gingerbread cookies ingredients profile:
Flour: This recipe uses All-Purpose Flour or Maida, as we call it in India. This is the refined flour which is most commonly used for baking purposes.
Egg: My version of classic Gingerbread cookies uses 1 egg. It gives a degree of richness and holds the dough together better. For eggless Gingerbread cookies recipe, simply omit Eggs from the ingredients below. It would still yield soft and crumbly cookies.
Butter: This is a butter rich cookie recipe which gives it the melt-in-mouth tenderness. I have used normal salted table butter from Amul. You may also use unsalted butter, but no margarine please.
Brown Sugar: Another very important ingredient to these cookies. It gives the chewy texture along with the caramelised colour to the cookies.
Molasses: Usually, Gingerbread cookies recipe calls for molasses for its flavour but I thought of substituting it with Honey, instead.
Honey: As it is, this recipe included honey. I doubled the quantity to make it work as a substitute for Molasses.
Spices: Mildly spicy, Gingerbread cookies feature the star flavour of Ginger in it. It is accompanied by Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, All Spice, etc.
Baking Soda: As a leavener, it gives a slight lift to the cookies.
Tips & Tricks of baking cookies
I might not be pro, but I have done a fortnight long research into this subject of baking cookies. It’s like when you are scared of something, you take extra precautions to avoid failure. That is why I am writing down some of the tips & tricks of baking cookies that I followed and found super useful.
- All the ingredients have to be at room temperature. I took out the butter and kept it on my kitchen counter overnight. This way it reached the room temperature just like the rest of the ingredients. Since it is winters so I keep my Honey in my kitchen pantry
- Sieve the All Purpose Flour along with the rest of dry ingredients. It serves a million purposes, I guess. It helps mix everything up uniformly, including the Baking Soda. It removes any impurity from the ingredients.
- Beat the Butter. Before anything, whisk the butter with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer till light & fluffy. Scrape the sides as it climbs up, and whisk. This would improve the texture of the cookies enormously. This is called creaming your butter
- Grind the sugar into fine powder. No points for guessing but this would help make the smooth.
- Use fresh powdered spices for the perfect aromatic cookies. Check for expiry date. Not that they go bad past that date, they lose their aroma after sometime.
- Chill the dough overnight for the best cookies. It rests the gluten, solidifies the butter and enhances the flavour. This also stops the cookies from spreading while baking and loosing its shape.
Tips for baking best cookies in convection microwave in Indian climate
Well, it pains to admit but we don’t have those fiery winters which would freeze us till our bones. While the northern parts of the country brave a couple of weeks of chilly days, rest of the country enjoys a pleasant climate. While this would be a perfect season to enjoy winter delicacies, it still doesn’t cut out for baking the winter holiday confectioneries.
When I was baking these Gingerbread Cookies, we had the city climate somewhere around 12c, so it can be summed as fairly cold. But my dough was feeling otherwise. So, I followed the following steps while baking:
- Work quickly with the dough. If you have a smooth kitchen countertop, then flour it and roll the cookies dough there itself. Don’t bother using parchment papers.
- You must have got a big and round pizza pan with your convection microwave oven. Use that to bake these cookies. No need to line it. Definitely do not grease it. The cookies will have a smooth bottom, and would not stick at all.
- While you pre-heat your oven, roll the dough and prepare the first batch of your cookies for baking. If you still left with cookies but no space on your baking tray, simply put them in the refrigerator on another clean plate. Once your batch is done, take these out and bake them.
- At any point if you feel your dough sticking to your rolling pin, sprinkle a little bit of flour. If it is still sticky, stop it right there and put everything in the fridge for 5 minutes or until the butter hardens up a bit. Keep doing this or you will have buttery mess EVERYWHERE!
- Around the baking time, check the cookies. If they seem to have dried up and seem to have sturdy edges, they are done. You might find the centre still soft, but don’t worry, it will harden up while cooling.
- Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack. This would allow ample air to play around the cookies, and they will not become soggy at the bottom.
- I have dusted Icing Sugar on these cookies, but you may go for icing them or dip them in White Chocolate, or leave them as be!
This is a simple & easy recipe for Gingerbread cookies without molasses. You can bake them fresh, or you may freeze the dough for later as well. This Gingerbread cookies recipe is soft, mildly spicy, buttery and perfect for edible Christmas Gift ideas. In this post, I have also shared substitute for molasses, tips on handling butter rich cookie dough and tips on how to bake cookies in a convection microwave oven in Indian climate.
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Egg
- ½ cup Butter At room temperature
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ½ cup Honey
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tbsp Ginger Powder
- ½ tsp Nutmeg Powder
- ½ tsp Cinnamon Powder
- ½ tsp Salt Use if using Unsalted Butter
Mix and sieve the dry ingredients together. Keep it aside.
Take the Butter in a bowl and whisk it till light & fluffy. Now, add Brown Sugar, Egg & Honey to it. Whisk till everything comes together.
If this mix looks separated, do not panic. It will come together after adding the dry ingredients.
Now, add the dry ingredients in batches. Add 1/3rd of it first. Use you hand beater to mix it well.
Add the half of the remaining dry ingredients and whisk it. It will start becoming tight and difficult to whisk.
At this stage, dump it on your counter and add the remaining flour mix. Bring everything together with your hands and start kneading gently.
In a couple of minutes you will have a smooth dough. Wrap it in a clingwrap and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When you are about to bake, pre-heat your oven at 170c.
Take out a portion of your cookie dough. Sprinkle flour on your clean kitchen countertop and start rolling the dough into a round disk till you get it ¼th of an inch thick.
Dip the cookie cutter in some flour before pressing them through the cookie dough. Place the star shaped cookies on the pizza baking tray (as discussed in the post) or any parchment lined baking tray.
Bake it for 12-14 minutes. 6 inches cookies would take about that time, smaller ones would require less, so check accordingly.
Once done, take them out and let them cool on a wire rack. Serve.
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