Don't have time to let cookie dough sit in the refrigerator? Try these no chill gingerbread cookies that you can roll and cut out right after mixing the ingredients! Make any shapes you want and serve them plain or decorated!
What Do These Cookies Taste Like?
I am completely in love with these gingerbread cookies that don't require any chilling! They're not dense and hard, not crunchy, and not cakey... they're kind of perfect! They're slightly soft with a bit of chew and a tender middle. They are loaded with the perfect amount of warm gingerbread spices and have, of course, a sharp molasses bite.
Decorate them with a bit of sweet royal icing - not too much - to cut the spices and land on a perfect balance of cozy holiday flavors and just the right amount of sweetness.
A cup of hot coffee doesn't hurt, either.
You can go simple like I did with an outline of royal icing (I made mine with almond extract) or you can do a full pipe and flood if you like a good slathering of frosting.
Whip up a buttercream with a touch of orange zest or extract - the citrus pairs wonderfully with gingerbread
Add any of your favorite holiday sprinkles!
Do I Need To Chill Gingerbread Cookie Dough?
This recipe does not require that you chill the dough in the refrigerator before rolling, cutting, and baking the cookies. You can go straight through from start to finish. Couldn't be easier, right?
With careful attention paid to the consistency of the dough, these cookies will come out of the oven as perfectly-shaped as they were when they went in.
What Flavors Are In Gingerbread?
You'll find a number of different answers to this question, but most gingerbread contains any combination of warm winter and holiday spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. I also like to toss in a teeny bit of black pepper to enhance the sharpness of the other spices. In some spice mixes you might see coriander or cardamom.
Molasses is considered by some to be the defining flavor in a true gingerbread. It's sharp, sweet, and slightly smoky flavor enhances the brown sugar - used more often than white sugar - and gives gingerbread its signature flavor.
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies
This recipe uses the classic method of creaming the butter with the sugar, adding eggs and flavoring (molasses, vanilla), then finishing off with the dry ingredients that include flour, all of those delicious warm spices, and salt.
As with most baking recipes, keep your mixer on low when adding the dry ingredients in the last step. You don't want to beat the tar out of the dough - just get it good and combined and turn the mixer off as soon as the flour streaks disappear. Because this dough does not need to rest in the refrigerator, you can go ahead and scrape it out onto a well-floured surface and get to rolling!
Make sure you don't roll the dough out too thin! You want every bit of a ¼-inch thickness so that it's not too fussy to remove the cookies from the cutter and transfer to the baking sheet.
Dough Consistency Is The Key!
It is vital that you get the consistency of your no chill gingerbread cookie dough just right in order to get the best batch of perfectly-shaped holiday cookies. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Sticky is bad. If your dough is super sticky and hard to work with, you likely measured your flour too lightly when scooping it into your measuring cups. Go ahead and work in a little extra flour - a couple of teaspoons at a time - until you have a dough that is slightly sticky but fairly easy to manipulate and roll out.
- Keep surfaces floured. Don't be stingy when it comes to sprinkling flour onto your silicone mat or clean counter. Go ahead and rub some onto your rolling pin as well. Heck, for good measure, also dip your cookie cutter into some flour before cutting the cookies.
- Dry Isn't Good Either. If you accidentally pack your flour down when measuring, you could end up with the opposite problem: a dough that is too crumbly and dry. Since this is a forgiving cookie recipe, go ahead and add a teensy bit of milk, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough has a better consistency.
- Don't overbake. You may need to experiment with a small first batch of a couple of cookies to get just the right baking time. You want the cookies to be firm and easy to work with when cooled, but not overbaked and too browned or cracked on the surface. I found that right in between 8-10 minutes worked for my oven, so start checking your cookies at the 8-minute mark.
How To Store And Freeze
- To Store Plain Baked Cookies: Let the cookies cool completely and then store at room temperature in an airtight container 5-7 days.
- To Store Decorated Cookies: Decorate only after cookies have fully cooled. Allow frosting to set up so that it is no longer tacky to the touch. Store as directed above.
- To Freeze Baked Cookies (plain or decorated): Flash freeze cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet for 1 hour, then transfer to a freezer-safe zip-top plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months (for best quality, they will be safe to eat longer if frozen correctly). Thaw on the counter for about an hour when ready to enjoy.
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