So, I bought these ninjabread men cookie cutters for Charlie a while back and he was so thrilled! But of course that required me to actually bake the cookies, and I am a huge procrastinator when it comes to that kind of stuff. So I FINALLY baked them a few weeks ago for his birthday, after Christmas which is the standard time to bake gingerbread men. Leave it up to me to be different!
I’ll be honest: I’m not the biggest fan of gingerbread cookies. They just end up tasting more like all of the spices in it than the actual cookie. These weren’t bad, but I think I can find a better recipe out there. They ended up a little dry, unfortunately! I also think that I cooked them a little too long, so they were a bit crunchy. When making this recipe, you might want to try baking them for 6-8 minutes, rather than the usual 10 minutes on the original recipe.
For the frosting, this was actually kind of a funny story: I originally was going to try my hand at royal icing for the first time! However….I was not prepared with my piping tools, so I added 8 oz cream cheese to my frosting and just frosted the outside of the cookies. The frosting was pretty delicious, so I would recommend using it on the gingerbread cookies!
YIELD: 45 ninjas
TIME: 3 hours
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water
5 Tbsp meringue powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
2-1/4 lbs powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz cream cheese
Cream butter and sugar, and add the eggs and molasses until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine until just mixed. Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; place in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Take about 1/2 cup of dough at a time and roll onto a floured board until about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out with your ninjabread cookie cutters. You can re-roll the scraps. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies from the board to the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes, until just beginning to brown at the edges. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
For the frosting, mix the warm water and meringue powder for 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar and mix for an additional 30 seconds. Slowly mix in powdered sugar for 10-15 minutes, until icing is thick and glossy. Add vanilla extract and mix for 30 seconds. Add food coloring and pipe on cookies. Making angry ninja faces is highly encouraged.
Hope y’all enjoy!