Gingerbread Crinkles are a fun and easy alternative to traditional gingerbread cookies. Don’t mess with cut-outs, simply roll dough balls in coarse sugar.
Do you have a love-hate relationship with gingerbread cut-out cookies? All the mess, all the dough sticking to cookie cutters and rolling pin, all the hassle?
Well, you can have your gingerbread and not get all hot and bothered in the process.
I personally have not had great success with Gingerbread Cookie Cut-Outs. The end results never justified the hassle to get there. Since my mom’s gingerbread recipe has rarely worked for me, I decided to redeem it a bit. I made a few changes and baked up a test batch while she was visiting one weekend.
They were an extreme hit. Christened Gingerbread Crinkles, these are a cookie I could get excited about. They are easy to make, taste just as good as traditional cut-outs, and are especially fantastic when you sandwich vanilla ice cream between a pair of them.
Gingerbread Crinkles are easy, fun, and tasty — exactly what a Christmas cookie should be. I love rolling them in coarse Demerera sugar. It gives them a nice crunchy coating.
What is gingerbread?
Gingerbread has a long history of being a pain in the butt to make. Back in the Middle Ages, noblewomen would present intricately shaped and decorated honey-spice breads to their gallant knights going into battle.
Modern day gingerbread takes the form of a ginger-spiced cookie cut into shapes or a dark, moist cake flavored with molasses, ginger, and other spices. The latter is more particular to the United States.
How do you make easy gingerbread cookies?
These Gingerbread Crinkles are probably the easiest gingerbread cookies you can make. Prepare and chill a spiced molasses dough, roll the dough into balls, roll the balls into sugar, and bake.
How long do gingerbread cookies last?
Not long, my friends! You better get some before they all get eaten!
However, if you want to make them in advance and store them for later, these Gingerbread Crinkles are good for 4 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 8 weeks when stored in a deep freeze.
How do I make these cookies affordably?
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make Gingerbread Crinkles more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of flour and butter can help keep the price down.
- Buying in bulk – It’s rare that I would buy just one bag of flour. Instead I stock up when I see a sale. I also have gotten into the habit of buying cases of flour from Bob’s Red Mill. I practice the same bulk buying for spices and other baking ingredients.
How I make easy Gingerbread Crinkles?
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- stainless steel mixing bowl – I’m not sure you have too many of these.
- Silicone spatula/spoon – I have two or three of these – so convenient!
- parchment paper – I hate washing pans. Parchment paper makes clean up a breeze.
- sheet pans – These heavy-duty rimmed baking sheets have been a game-changer!
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Demerara or coarse sugar for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350 °. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpat baking mats.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the molasses, egg, and lemon zest until well mixed.
- Stir in the flour, baking soda, and spices.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the demerara sugar.
- Place 9 cookies on a sheet, spacing evenly. Cookies will spread while baking.
- Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire rack.
Place baked and cooled cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for 4 days or freeze for up to 8 weeks.
The dough can also be prepared in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. No need to soften the butter. Just blend until mixed well with the sugar.