Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies with a Twist

by jenna on December 2, 2010

There’s not much more I love than a good gingerbread man.

But then I discovered gingerbread yogis and my whole world changed.

You see, I’m in charge of baking Christmas cookies for a family event at the studio this weekend and Anna ordered these cookie cutters for me to use. I nearly cried. I mean, how cute are these? How perfect? She gave them to me yesterday after yoga, and I was too excited to wait. I had to try them out and I knew the perfect cookie to make.

Thick, chewy and spicy gingerbread cookies.

The kind your grandma made and the kind you get from artisan bakeries, sprinkled with coarse sugar. Dare I even say the kind that Pa brought Laura and Mary? Or would that be going too far?

I hate to say it—hate to go there—but I’m really sort of a gingerbread snob.

I am.

It’s been my favorite cookie forever and I know what I like (and don’t like). I know I like a lot of molasses, brown sugar, ground white pepper (secret ingredient!), butter and tons of ginger. I hate it when people skimp on the ginger. I mean it’s gingerbread for crying out loud!

These particular gingerbread cookies are made the old fashioned way, by boiling together the molasses, sugar and spices on the stove and then adding the baking soda, butter, egg and flour at the end. No mixer needed and there’s just something fun about adding baking soda to boiling sugar.

Trust me on this one.

You also don’t chill the dough in this recipe, which is always a good thing because who has time for that? There’s no telling when a cookie craving may strike, and it’s always good to be prepared so you can act fast.

If you missed the initial link, Anna got these cookie cutters here. Sadly I’ll be returning them to her, but only after I perfect a recipe for vegan sugar cookies so the kiddies can have something to decorate on Saturday after their yoga class.

I think my favorite is downward facing dog!

But tree pose? Seriously?

I ate this one first.

I have to say, the only way these cookies could possibly be cuter is if I decorated them with Lululemon frosting clothes. I mean, how cute would this gal be dressed in a pink power-y tank and groove pants?

I die.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies

adapted from Gourmet

Print this recipe!

makes about 4 dozen large man-shaped (or yogi-shaped!) cookies

3 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 T ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground white pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2/3 cup molasses

2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 325.

Combine the brown sugar, molasses, ground cloves, white pepper, cinnamon and ginger in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil on the stove for about three minutes, stirring occasionally.

Take pot off the stove and add the baking soda (this is the exciting part!!!). Stir well.

Add the butter, adding only a few chunks at a time and stirring well so each addition melts before the next. Add the egg and stir.

Finally, add the flour and salt. The dough will be very soft and still warm, but roll out on a floured covered surface. Cut with cookie cutters or use a large glass to make regular shaped cookies.

Bake for twelve minutes.

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin December 2, 2010 at 7:40 am

hahaha those cookie cutters are adorable!! Decorating gingerbread men is one of my favorite holiday activities. The gingerbread yogis sounds even more fun!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 2, 2010 at 7:40 am

Oh how cute are those cutters?! I am not a huge fan of gingerbread cookies alone, but my husband loves them. And white pepper in these?? I just may need to try!


Nikita December 2, 2010 at 7:42 am

Gingerbread yogis! how adorable! Must try one now :)


Clare@FittingItAllIn December 2, 2010 at 7:55 am

Those are adorable!! I’ve seen ninjamen too! Making these are probably a better idea than undertaking and entire gingerbread house …


Ally December 2, 2010 at 7:56 am

OMG those cookie cutters are to die for!!! And your gingerbread looks so yummy.


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 2, 2010 at 7:56 am

These are SO SO cute!! I think I’m definitely going to hunt down some cute cookie cutters and make these as Christmas gifts, using your recipe. I’ve never tried the boiling technique before but it sounds interesting. I’m SO excited!! 😀


Estela @ Weekly Bite December 2, 2010 at 7:57 am

I need to get my hands on those cookie cutters! So freakin’ cute!


Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes December 2, 2010 at 7:58 am

ohmy goodness! this tops it all!!!!! I’m also excited because today is another christmas bake-a-thon in my kitchen… and I was just googling gingerbread men! because, yes, I too am a gingerbread snob. Sad fact. Are these chewy? or crispy? I don’t like crunchy gingerbread men…they’re just not my type!
cathy b. @ brightbakes


lauren December 2, 2010 at 7:59 am

i also loved the iced version of the cookies on the website!


Sarah @ goingongoals December 2, 2010 at 7:59 am

OMG I looove those cookie cutter! They have been added to my christmas list!!1


Laura December 2, 2010 at 8:00 am

Oh my word. Want, no need, MUST HAVE those cookie cutters. That is sooo awesome. And I bet they taste phenomenal too. Little down dog Gingy is doing it better then I do my down dogs. Jealous of a gingerbread man, who would have thunk it.


Amanda (Eating Up) December 2, 2010 at 8:04 am

At first, I totally thought they were the ninja gingerbread men cookie cutters (http://www.amazon.com/Fred-Friends-Ninjabread-Cookie-Cutters/dp/B003YUBQHO).

These are way cooler.


Kim December 2, 2010 at 8:04 am

It’s not a matter of wanting those cookie cutters for me right now. It’s become essential that I possess them. I’m putting them on my wish list! Great find, thanks for sharing!!


Liz @ Tip Top Shape December 2, 2010 at 8:04 am

Oh my goodness, those cookie cutters are absolutely adorable!!!!


Alina @ Duty Free Foodie December 2, 2010 at 8:06 am

I love these gingerbread yogi shapes! Could they be any cuter? I think not.


Joanne December 2, 2010 at 8:16 am

Your favorite flavors in a gingerbread cookie are identical to mine. I printed this recipe and, look out oven, I’m ready to bake. I’ll have to use the tradit. gingerbread cookie cutter or… maybe there’s a “runner dude” cutter out there?! :)


Lauren December 2, 2010 at 8:18 am

Aw those are adorable! Where’d she find them?


Moni'sMeals December 2, 2010 at 8:19 am

So cute, Best cookie cutters ever!
I like this low maintenace recipe too.



Faith Ann December 2, 2010 at 8:30 am

Those are the most adorable cookies *ever*!! I wish that store shipped to Canada!!

I’m a first-time commenter but I have enjoyed your blog for a while. I love your new approach to blogging and how you share your love of baking/cooking. For me, I enjoy this type of blog so much more than seeing bowls of oatmeal, but that’s just me, a lot of people obviously enjoy pics of oatmeal!


Katie December 2, 2010 at 8:32 am

I need those cookie cutters!!!


Allie (Live Laugh Eat) December 2, 2010 at 8:33 am

Ahhhh these gingerbread men are ADORABLE!! I am newly obsessed with all things gingerbread, molasses, and ginger. I can’t get enough of it. If I had cookies this cute, they wouldn’t last a minute!


Dorry December 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

I love gingerbread cookies! And those cookie cutters are so cute it’s ridiculous.


grocery goddess jen December 2, 2010 at 8:36 am

OMG I LOOOOVVVEEEE those cookie cutters!! What will they come up with next?


Ashley December 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

Tree pose is my FAVorite. Oh my word. It’s hard to believe, but I own NO cookie cutters. What is my problem? I really want little animal cracker sized cookie cutters to use with my homemade grahams!


Nicole December 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

These have to be the CUTEST cookies I’ve ever seen! I would buy these cookie cutters in an instant if they weren’t $32!


Michaela December 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

I can’t even handle how cute these are! I put them on my Christmas wish list immediately! So adorable!


Nicole December 2, 2010 at 9:13 am

OMG! I think we’re on the same wavelength right now! I saw these cookie cutters earlier this week and nearly died! I love them! I’m actually writing about them in my blog post for tomorrow. I hope you check it out! I’ll be sure to reference your pics and post as well. These cutters would also make some cute PB&J sandwiches!


Ella December 2, 2010 at 9:15 am

I love those cookie cutters! Oh man, thats precious. I love gingerbread. I’m Swedish and my family always has this type of gingerbread cookie called pepperkaker, I look forward to it every Christmas..


Krystina (Basil & Wine) December 2, 2010 at 9:18 am

How adorable! I love how the one in tree pose looks like an amputee.


stacey-healthylife December 2, 2010 at 9:25 am

Cute, how fun.


Danielle December 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

OMG! Those are the cutest cookies I have EVER seen. I would love to see them decorated. Where can I get my hands on cutters like that!


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 2, 2010 at 9:35 am

Those are the cutest cookie cutters EVERRRR!


Stacy @ Every Little Thing December 2, 2010 at 10:00 am

Love it!

I once had a set of “Noah’s Ark” cookie cutters that I’m so sad I lost. I love fun cookie cutters!


Balanced Healthy Life December 2, 2010 at 10:16 am

Those are so cute! I love them!


Kelly December 2, 2010 at 10:20 am

Cute idea, though before you told me that’s what they were I had no idea!


sassy molassy December 2, 2010 at 10:21 am

So glad you did gingerbread men! I love them. And yogis…how adorable! Another holiday (?) cookie I love is chocolate crackles w/ powdered sugar on top. Melt in my mouth.


megan @ whatmegansmaking December 2, 2010 at 10:22 am

I have never done yoga in my life, but I still think these are so cute! Your recipe sounds so intrigueing. I had one planned for this weekend, but maybe I’ll switch to try yours!


Deanna (PRetty in Pittsburgh) December 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

TOO CUTE! Love it.


Chelsea @ omtowngirl.com December 2, 2010 at 10:37 am

Hi Jenna! I met Anna at a Baptiste bootcamp this summer and she also introduced me to these cookie cutters. I can’t wait to use them! I am hosting a Christmas party for my yoga students and plan to give treat bags full of gingerbread yogis as favors. So excited! Seriously, does it get any better when jolly gingerbread cookies come in yoga poses? And I’m with you on decorating them in lululemon gear. Too cute!


Allison K December 2, 2010 at 10:39 am

ok, those are adorable. although at first I wasn’t sure what they were and thought maybe they were kama sutra gingerbread men. 😉


Dee December 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

Oh my gosh! These cookie cutters are precious!

ps. I am now craving gingerbread cookies. YUM! 😉


Food & Other Things December 2, 2010 at 10:57 am

Gingerbread cookies are my favorite type of Christmas cookies! And those cookie cutters are beyong words!


Amanda December 2, 2010 at 11:03 am

Heaven! Gingerbread cookies are my FAVORITE! My mom never made them for us, but now that I’m on my own I make them EVERY Christmas. White pepper is an amazing idea. I will definitely be trying this recipe :)


salah@myhealthiestlifestyle December 2, 2010 at 11:21 am

these are adorable :-) and look/sound delicious too!


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman December 2, 2010 at 11:21 am

Those are adorable! I love the shapes!


Kelly December 2, 2010 at 11:28 am

Those are the cutest cookie cutters! I love gingerbread cookies so much that I have been known to eat an entire batch in one day. Look out I am a gingerbread man killer!


Eclectically Elizabeth December 2, 2010 at 11:31 am

Omg those are amazing!!! They made me want to look for other shapes, and I found “ninjabread men” cookie cutters! Can’t wait to go on a cookie baking rampage :)


jessica December 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

I LOVE these cookie cutters- so cute! I’ll have to order them so I can bring some treats to my yoga students. Thanks for the great idea!


Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen December 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm

These are too cute!!


Katelynn December 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm

How delicious!

I love those cutters!


Heidi - Apples Under My Bed December 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Fabulous!! I’m going to bake these today, thank you so much :) they will not be as wonderful as yours though – I don’t have those adorable cookie cutters! Must get some, too cute for words.
Heidi xo


Meredith @ An Epic Change December 2, 2010 at 2:28 pm

You solved a huge problem for me today! I told my students that I would bake cookies for their last day of class (Friday) and then realized that I didn’t know many recipes that made enough for all 44 of my students and I hate doubling/tripling recipes because it messes everything up. Then I saw your recipe! this makes about 60 (!!) round cookies. Thanks!


Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher December 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Jenna, I’m sure it’s good baked, but straight from the can isn’t TJ’s canned pumpkin unpleasant to taste?


Kaitlin December 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm

These look absolutely amazing, and what an adorable cookie cutter set! Definitely going on my holiday baking list :)


kate December 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Ive been obsessed with those cutters since I saw them on a yogi gift guide a few weeks ago, so cute!


Mary Catherine December 2, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I just bought both sets of these cutters – I just couldn’t resist! I can’t wait to bake some gingerbread yogis for the girls at my studio! Do you have any suggestions for what kind of icing to use for piping along the edges?


jenna December 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm

A plain royal icing will do the trick nicely! Try this: http://recipes.epicurean.com/recipe/23118


Liz December 2, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I also LOVED the cookie cutters and my nice husband purchased them for me as an early Christmas present. The best icing for piping appears to be Royal Icing. Use the version the has meringue powder not egg whites (salmonella issues).


Ann December 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Pahahaha. TOO cute!


Annie D @ Annie's Simple Life December 3, 2010 at 4:33 am

OMG those are SOOOOOO cute!!!!!!!!!


sofia December 3, 2010 at 5:43 am

i saw an advertisement for these cutters! so cute.


Lisa December 3, 2010 at 7:49 am

“I have to say, the only way these cookies could possibly be cuter is if I decorated them with Lululemon frosting clothes. I mean, how cute would this gal be dressed in a pink power-y tank and groove pants?”

This totally made me laugh out loud and I totally agree!!


Natalia - a side of simple December 3, 2010 at 8:11 am

I have to agree with you and Rachel Zoe… “I die.”


Cake Betch December 3, 2010 at 10:04 am

OMG! Reference to Little House on the Prairie! I was totally obsessed with those books when I was little 😀


Laura December 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm

oh my word those cookie cuttersare the cutest!


Becca @ Peace, Love & Bagels December 7, 2010 at 8:56 am

I absolutely LOVE these cookies. I made some to give away as holiday gifts the other night, unfortunately I didn’t have any yogi-cutters…just regular old men, snowmen and trees! They’re still amazing. Thank you so much for the GREAT recipe, I only made one or two substitutions…take a look and let me know what you think if you get a chance!!

Happy Yogi-days!!


Clizia December 18, 2010 at 10:29 am

OMG I’ve just baked these (in the regular non yoga gingerbread men shape lol)… they are AMAZING!!!!!!!!! You’re a baking genius, Jenna x


Jen October 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I know this is an old post, but I was searching for a gingerbread recipe yesterday *sidenote* my slightly eccentric 13 yr old sister is having a Christmas party, yes in October and requested gingerbread*…anyway, the recipe turned out great! I love stovetop gingerbread cooking, so fun and the cookies are nice and soft! :) I didn’t have white pepper but it didn’t seem to affect the recipe. thanks for a great recipe! :)


Caroline Leigh December 17, 2011 at 7:05 am

why white pepper?


jenna December 17, 2011 at 7:18 am

it gives it a little kick…try it! I swear white pepper is the secret in all delicious gingerbread.


Em December 25, 2012 at 4:16 am

i had this recipe bookmarked forever and finally got around to them today. it was a very soft dough so i wasn’t afraid of incorporating more flour into it during rolling. after you flour it heavily it is very easy to handle. they bake up super puffy and delicious, i loved them! i baked them in those ABC (already been chewed) cookie cutters – so cute :)


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