For me to choose a favorite Christmas cookie is nearly impossible, but one of my absolute favorite Christmas flavors is ginger. Gingerbread men and ginger snaps would rank up there near the top of my Christmas cookie list.
I love those classics, but for a change, I wanted to try a new ginger cookie recipe this year. I decided on frosted gingerbread cookies because I thought they would have a similar flavor to gingerbread men, but in a softer, chewier cookie than the (often) rock-hard gingerbread men I’ve eaten in the past.
I decided to keep the frosting a basic vanilla buttercream because I wanted the frosting to complement, not compete with the cookies.
Once the dough was ready, I used a tablespoon scoop and rolled the cookies into round balls. I flattened them with a glass before baking. These techniques kept the cookies close to the same size and the dome shape kept them moist.
After cooling completely, I whipped up a really easy vanilla butter cream and frosted each of the cookies.
Once they were frosted, I added some crushed peppermint candy canes for color contrast and an extra punch of Christmas flavor.
The buttercream is a sweet compliment to the stronger spice flavors in the cookies. The peppermint adds just a touch of crunch and color. These cookies are really delicious; I think I might have a new favorite ginger cookie.
What’s your favorite Christmas cookie?
Peppermint Frosted Gingerbread Cookies
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 – 2 tablespoons heavy cream
4-5 peppermint candies or mini candy canes, finely crushed
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, then add molasses and vanilla. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Prheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1-2 tablespoon size balls and flatten slightly with your palm or glass. Place on baking sheet two inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms begin to brown. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the buttercream: mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
Once the cookies are cooled completely, frost each cookie with approximately 1 tablespoon of frosting. Dust each cookie with crushed peppermint candies.