I am organising a cookie exchange this week, so I have been baking a lot of cookies. Of all the cookies I have been making this year, gingerbread men are my favourite. There is something very special about the flavour and aroma of these cookies. The molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg combine together perfectly to make soft, delicious cookies; and it’s beautiful. But gingerbread can be very time consuming, between the measuring and mixing, the chilling and rolling, and the baking and cooling, and decoration - you can lose a whole day making just one batch!
Despite the time it takes to makes these cookies, gingerbread cookies are definitely worth the effort – and they are great for cookie exchanges, since you can personalize each cookie to look like the recipient!
This year, for an extra special treat, I have molded my gingerbread men to be holding a Kerr’s lollypop!
In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft and fluffy; add the sugar and beat until combined.
Add eggs one at a time and beat until the mixture turns pale white.
Add molasses, and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.
While stirring the butter mixture, slowly add in the flour mixture.
Continue to stir until the batter is a smooth mixture.
Separate the batter into thirds, wrap each third in cellophane, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Prepare your workspace for rolling out the dough by dusting a table and rolling pin with flour.
Remove one portion of the dough from the fridge, and unwrap.
Dust the dough with flour, and roll until the dough is approximately ¼” thick. The dough can be rolled thinner, just note that a thinner cookie will be crispier, and a thicker cookie will be softer.
Once the dough is rolled out, cut the dough with cookie cutters, and lay them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Remove the plastic wrap from a few Kerr’s Lollypops, and place the lollypops in a plastic bag. Crush the lollypops until the sticks no longer have any candy on them.
Lay the candy-less lollypop stick on the unbaked gingerbread figure, wrapping the arm of the figure around the lollypop stick.
Bake the cookies at 350ᴼF for 8-12 minutes. Smaller cookies (up to 2”) will need a shorter amount of time to bake (approximately 8 minutes), while larger cookies (6” or so), will need longer (approximately 12 minutes).
Once the cookies are baked, carefully remove the lollypop stick.
Let the cookies cool, insert a Kerr’s lollypop into the arm gap and decorate!