You know what I love? I love the incredible capacity children have for sugar. It’s one of the great tragedies of life–once we’re old enough to eat as much candy as we want, we don’t want to eat it anymore. I still love watching kids eat it though!
I created this recipe for Jack’s kindergarten class. His awesome teacher had a great idea for a “P” themed party with plans to decorate “people” cookies. I have another dairy and egg free gingerbread recipe, perfect for making gingerbread houses, but wanted to come up with a thick and soft gingerbread cookie for his class.
At home, I decorated mine in classic fashion. For the school kids, I made vanilla frosting and they decorated with licorice, Skittles, Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips and sprinkles until the cookies couldn’t hold any more. We had a few casualties…and took some crime scene photos. Enjoy!
I love making cookie dough in my food processor, it always turns out so smooth and nice to work with…like grown up play-dough. If you don't have a food processor, a mixer will work just fine.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup shortening
- ¾ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk (I used Silk Pure Coconut, soy or rice would work)
- In the bowl of a food processor, mix the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and spices. Pulse until its mixed well.
- Add the shortening and pulse until it's incorporated.
- Mix the molasses and dairy-free milk together in a measuring cup with a spout.
- Slowly pour the molasses-milk mixture into the food processor while pulsing to mix.
- Process until the dough comes together in a nice ball.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
- To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325.
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of plastic wrap to ¼ inch or so (this way avoids using extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin or counter, extra flour makes cookies dried out and tough).
- Cut into shapes and cook on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies, smaller gingerbread men will cook faster than my big ones).
- Let cool before decorating, enjoy!
Egg-Free Royal Icing
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 2 T. Water
- Mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch together.
- Add water a tablespoon at a time. This is super-thick icing that hardens quickly when piped on, so don't make it too runny or your decorations will spread into blobs.