Thursday, December 6, 2012

Recipe | Gingerbread Cookies for Children

As soon as the Christmas decorations were up in our home, Charlie began asking me to bake "gingerbear" cookies.   He seemed to be a bit confused, but I knew he meant gingerbread.  Even at age 4, he knows that few cookies say Christmas quite like a gingerbread cookie.  I find gingerbread to be a bit tricky with children.  Many are too spicy or even worse, they end up rock hard, great for building houses, but not so great for eating.  I find they often look a whole lot better than they taste too.  About 10 years ago, I tried a recipe that came in a Kraft magazine mailer on a whim.  The cookies turned out perfect, especially for children.  Gingery enough but not overpowering and with an excellent consistency.   It has remained my go-to gingerbread cookie recipe ever since.

{Please note that we do typically follow a preservative/artificial additive free diet and this recipe calls for an ingredient that isn't.  Since Andrew is very sensitive to artificial ingredients he can't eat these.  Before you go thinking I'm a cruel Mama, I baked him a batch of triple chocolate biscotti so there was no trouble!! :)}

Gingerbread Cookies {recipe adapted from Kraft}
3/4 c unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1 pkg (4 serving size) butterscotch flavor instant pudding mix {i use Jell-O}
1 egg
2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt

Beat butter, sugar, pudding mix and egg with electric mixer until well blended. Combine flour through salt into another bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to pudding mixture, beating well after each addition. Collect dough and form into a flattened disk. wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, cut into desired shapes and place onto parchment lined cookie sheets. {Optional, use a straw to make a hole for ornament hanging} Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Decorate with royal icing once cooled.

I'm going to make the little houses for Charlie's class this year, but with a few embellishments. Stay tuned for pictures , along with cute packaging ideas, next week. The above cookies were decorated using a disposable pastry bag with the tip snipped off. I let both boys help, each with a bag filled with icing, and theirs turned out pretty wacky + messy but it was a lot of fun.


  1. These look delish, not only for the kiddos but also for grownups. The forecast calls for a rainy weekend - perfect for cookie making. Will definitely try this recipe.

  2. Thanks for the recipe...I'm definitely going to give this a try. I currently make Martha Stewart's gingerbread cookies, which I absolutely love, but because they're on the spicier side, my kids don't like them. These sound perfect!

  3. It looks like these are gluten free! Neat!

  4. Fyi, daughter and I started making these and she discovered that you ommitted the flour from the printable version of the recipe. Just thought I'd let you know in case you want to update it. You have it in your post, just not the printable.

    Leave it to my smart 7-year-old to figure it out before we made any cooking blunders!! :)

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Ooops! Okay...we're nuts. It's there! lol

  6. Well, we made these with great success! My kids loved them! The grown-ups thought they were tasty, too. :)

  7. where did you find the cute polka dot/gingham lined treat bags? so cute!

  8. what is the recipe that you use for the frosting and how long does it take to harden?

  9. thanks for pointing us toward the Kraft recipe-- it is fantastic! I used it today on my blog in a gingerbread mix that I am giving as Christmas gifts. I always enjoy your posts, thanks for sharing!