If you were Facebook friends with Queen Cupcake, you would be able to see pictures of the gingerbread-house decorating party she hosted last weekend. (Side note–Queen Cupcake, when are you going to start blogging?  Your life is SO blog-worthy!)  Her edible house is beyond adorable, replete with a green royal icing roof, and strands of Fruity-Pebble twinkle lights.

If you frequent Bakerella’s website, then you already know just how cute gingerbread heads can be when you own every kind of sprinkle under the golden sun.

And if you frequent this blog, dear readers, then surely you know I cook to eat.  I’ve never been big in the plating department.  I’m lucky if I can snap a photo of what I’m about to dig into before the sun goes down.

But I can make gingerbread cookies with the best of ’em.

Darn good ones too, courtesy of Deb.  Spicy, and crunchy and screaming December with every, well, snap.  These are the perfect kick-start to whatever holiday baking you’re doing.  Or feel like you should be doing.  Get the dough ready ahead of time, pop it in the freezer, and bake these off when you’re hours from a holiday gathering with no time to head out for a last-minute hostess gift.  Twenty minutes is all you need.

To make 4 dozen, you will need:

  • 2 1/4 C flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 3 tsps. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper (Crazy, right? But you’ll find it right in the spice aisle, with everything else.)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 C unsulphured molasses

In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  In bowl of mixer, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl as necessary.  Add egg and molasses and continue beating until combined.  Add dry ingredients on low speed, beating until incorporated, and scraping as necessary.  Transfer dough to plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Break off chunks of dough and roll into 1-inch balls.  Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes (it may take another 2 or 3 if the cookies are coming straight from the freezer).  Let cool at least 10 minutes on tray before transferring to cooling rack.  You want these crunchy.

Enjoy with a glass of milk.

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