Cookies/ Dessert/ Recipes/ Seasonal Ingredients/ Seasonal Recipes

Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies with a Twist

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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  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Gingerbread yogis! how adorable! Must try one now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    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 …

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 7:56 am

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

  • Reply
    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!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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

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

  • Reply
    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

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 7:59 am

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

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

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

  • Reply
    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.

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

    At first, I totally thought they were the ninja gingerbread men cookie cutters (

    These are way cooler.

  • Reply
    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!!

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

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

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    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?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 8:18 am

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

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 8:19 am

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


  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I need those cookie cutters!!!

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

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

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

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

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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..

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

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

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Cute, how fun.

  • Reply
    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!

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

    Those are the cutest cookie cutters EVERRRR!

  • Reply
    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!

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

    Those are so cute! I love them!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 am

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

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    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!

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

    TOO CUTE! Love it.

  • Reply
    Chelsea @
    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!

  • Reply
    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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Oh my gosh! These cookie cutters are precious!

    ps. I am now craving gingerbread cookies. YUM! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 11:21 am

    these are adorable ๐Ÿ™‚ and look/sound delicious too!

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

    Those are adorable! I love the shapes!

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    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!

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

    These are too cute!!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    How delicious!

    I love those cutters!

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

    Fabulous!! I’m going to bake these today, thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ 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

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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?

  • Reply
    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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?

  • Reply
    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).

  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Pahahaha. TOO cute!

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

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

  • Reply
    December 3, 2010 at 5:43 am

    i saw an advertisement for these cutters! so cute.

  • Reply
    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!!

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

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

  • Reply
    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 ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    oh my word those cookie cuttersare the cutest!

  • Reply
    vegan holiday sugar cookies โ€” Eat, Live, Run
    December 6, 2010 at 7:31 am

    […] when I told you the other day I was in charge of baking sugar cookies for the yoga studio’s holiday […]

  • Reply
    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!!

  • Reply
    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

  • Reply
    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! ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t have white pepper but it didn’t seem to affect the recipe. thanks for a great recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Reply
    Caroline Leigh
    December 17, 2011 at 7:05 am

    why white pepper?

    • Reply
      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.

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  • Reply
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    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Reply
    January 3, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    After mixing everything, put the ball of dough into some plastic wrap and refrigerate it for an hour, THEN roll it out. It’s too soft when it is warm to ever roll out without adding a ton of flour, which dulls the flavor and makes it stiff.

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