Neighborhood Gift Idea #12: Kid-Friendly Gingerbread Cookies

Do you ever sort of cringe thinking of all that flour you’ll have to slop on your counters when it’s time to do gingerbread cookies with your kids? I know I do, I still don’t have a great way of cleaning flour off of my counters (btw, if you have a good trick, leave a comment below). So, lucky for me I have a wonderful mother who gave me the recipe she would do with my brothers when they were little-can you imagine trying to do gingerbread cookies+flour+FOUR boys under the age of FIVE? Yeah…you know she had to find a better way. Now I’m sharing it with you, all food storage style, so you can have a much easier Christmas and a better time making cookies with your kids this year! (This recipe is very similar to the Cookie Clay Dough, I’ve posted about before)


1 Cup Butter
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
2/3 Cup Molasses
In a small saucepan, combine the above 3 ingredients. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes.

1 Egg, large and beaten (1 T. dry egg powder + 2 T. water)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat together in a large mixing bowl and add the butter mixture. Mix together.

4 Cups Flour (2 Cups wheat and 2 Cups white)
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
Combine all of the above dry ingredients. Gradually add to wet mixture above and mix well.
Cover and chill for about two hours.

Form or mold into balls, ropes, or animals, etc.
This recipe can also be rolled out and cut out with cookie cutters. Usually no flour is needed on the counter or rolling pin. A spatula is all that is needed for the transfer to the cookie sheet. However, I do dip the cookie cutters in flour for easy removal from the cutters. This dough works especially well for cookie cutters that imprint a design as the design holds up well in baking.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

To make 8 Gingerbread Teddy Bears:
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Have each of 8 children make from their piece of dough; one 2 inch ball for body, one one inch ball for head, four 1/2 inch balls for hands and feet, two 3/8 inch balls for ears. Place the 2 inch ball on a foil-lined baking sheets for the bear body; flatten to 1/2 inch thickness. Position the 1 inch balls for the head; flatten to 1/2 inch thickness. Attach four 1/2 inch balls to the bear for arms and legs. Attach two 3/8 inch balls for bear ears. Add chocolate chips for eyes, noses and buttons.

OR Shape dough into eight balls, 2 inches each; eight balls, 1 inch each; 32 balls 1/2 inch each; and 16 3/8 in each. Place the 2 inch balls on three foil-lined baking sheets for bodies of 8 bears; flatten to 1/2 inch thickness. Position the 1 inch balls for heads; flatten to 1/2 inch thickness. Attach four 1/2 inch balls to each bear for arms and legs. Attach two 3/8 inch balls for ears. Add chocolate chips for eyes, noses and buttons.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until set.
Cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing to wire racks to cool completely.
Frost bows on bear necks with red frosting/piping tubes.

© 2013, Crystal. All rights reserved.

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  • Sharon in Texas

    A friend taught me a great trick when working with flour or doughs…always use cold water for cleanup! Hot water makes it gooey and glue-like. Cleans up fast and easy with cold water.

  • Emma

    I use Clingfilm when rolling out dough. Easier and no mess :)

  • ABC Pediatric Dentistry

    I will share my favorite flour clean-up trick. I use my Norpro scraper (you know – the kind you use to cut bread dough or to scoop ingredients off your cutting board into the pan?)! I just hold the garbage can up to the counter edge and scrape it all in. It has a sharpish edge, so I just scrape hard and then I have NO pasty washcloth to deal with afterward!

  • ABC Pediatric Dentistry

    Ha! I must be signed in under my husband’s work account. This is Julie A. :)

  • Laurel

    If you don’t have a norpro scraper, a plastic or metal turner works fabulous. Scrape the majority off, use water to soften the rest, scrape again and then wipe with a dish cloth. :-)

  • Libby McCarthy

    I have a mini brush and dust pan I got from ikea that I use all the time in the kitchen to clean up crumby counters and seats but I especially love it for flour, to avoid grossing up my rag. You do still have to wipe after, but this gets the bulk of it.

  • Juls in Columbus

    Basic counter clean up: Use homemade “Scour” . This is a basic antibacterial, full grease cutting and germ killing solution, you make at home, and cuts through anything. Its also great for disenfecting toliets, food slicers, and doorknobs. The basic formula is 1-2-4. 1 part BLEACH, 2 parts Alcohol, 4 parts water. I usually mix a spay bottle full which is 1/4 c bleach, 1/2 cup alcohol, 1 cup water.

  • Ashley

    I don’t use flour when I roll out gingerbread cookies. I put down sheets of wax paper and spray it with a little cooking spray. My kids love it and it’s mess free. I always use wax paper when I make sugar cookies or pie crust. That way I just have to throw away the paper when I’m done. Most of the mess stays on the wax paper.