I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and are just taking a little time to relax and chill out now that the big day is over. I know I am, and helping me do that are these Soft Baked Gingerbread Cookies with Orange Frosting, seriously they are so moreish I just can’t stop eating them. Bad TV and a naughty treat equals a little slice of heaven!
Soft baked large dark gingerbread cookies smothered with a soft fluffy frosting flavoured with a freshly zest’ed and juiced orange. And a few festive sprinkles for a little colour because after all lets face it sprinkles make everything so much better. But they can be omitted or the colours changed with the seasons.
I love the combination of ginger and orange they compliment each other so well. Ginger is a lovely deep warming flavour and orange is such a fresh flavour cutting through anything to shine just as equally as the ginger.
Another flavour layer these cookies have is molasses. Who doesn’t love ginger and molasses cookies? Don’t worry if you can’t get hold of molasses especially if you are in the UK, you can use black treacle instead. I made a batch with molasses and another batch with black treacle and they were virtually identical. So no worries I have you covered!
Now if you are not a frosting fan (I know weird right?) these cookies are just great without it. But they do become extra special when it is smothered on top of them. But just as wonderful without. So the choice it totally up to you to make. With or without you won’t be disappointed by these cookies.
Because it is just after Christmas I don’t want to get too geeky and technical about cookie dough with you but I do want to mention a few things. When it comes to adding the flour mix the dough until it is just combined. You want your cookies to be soft and a little crumbly not tough and hard. Over mixing the flour into the dough will cause this to happen.
And this cookie dough needs to go in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours so the dough can rest and allow the gluten to settle down a bit. And it will also give the flavours a chance to mingle and become a little bit more pronounced. Ideally if you can leave it in the fridge for at least 24 hours and up to a maximum of 3 days. This will also make the dough easier to handle when it comes to rolling it out. Weird cookie dough geekiness is now over!!!
So how do you spend the days following Christmas? Relaxing with family? Vegging out in front of the TV or by continuing to party? However you spend these days make sure that you have a plate of these Soft Baked Gingerbread Cookies with Orange Frosting in front of you because they will make you very happy.
- 170 grams unsalted butter (1 and ½ sticks)
- 100 grams light brown sugar (1/2 cup - packed)
- 100 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60 millilitres molasses (4 tablespoons)
- 300 grams plain / all purpose flour (2 and ½ cups - spoon & sweep)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 and ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground all spice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 100 grams unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
- 280 grams icing sugar (2 cups - spoon & sweep)
- Zest of 1 large orange
- Juice of 1 large orange
- Beat the butter and the sugars together until they are well combined. 2 to 3 minutes should do it.
- Add in the salt, egg, vanilla extract and molasses and beat on a medium speed until everything is well combined. 3 to 4 minutes should be enough.
- Sieve the flour, baking soda and spices together into a bowl.
- Then add the flour spice mix to the cookie dough and combine on a slow speed until the flour is just mixed in. 1 to 2 minutes should be enough.
- Scoop your cookie dough either into a ball and wrap in clingfilm / plastic wrap or cover the mixing bowl and pop it into the fridge for minimum 2 hours and a maximum of 3 days.
- If you have the time try to leave your dough for at least 24 hours as this will give the flavours time to become more pronounced.
- When you are ready to cook your cookies preheat your oven to 190C / 375F / Gas mark 5 and line a large cookie sheet with either a silicon baking mat or baking parchment.
- I used a ¼ cup to measure out my cookies so they all came out the same size. Not using cups thats fine I also weighed them out and each one came to 60 grams give or take a gram!
- Roll the dough into balls give them a little pat to flatten them a little then pop them in the oven for 13 minutes.
- I found this to be the perfect time for soft baked cookies, but if you have a fast oven it may be worth checking them out at 10 minutes. If you prefer a cruncher cookies given them an extra 2 minutes.
- Leave them on the hot tray for 3 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to fully cool down.
- Beat the butter till it is very pale and fluffy about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add in the icing sugar and on a slow speed mix it in. The frosting will be a little bit dry and crumbly but that is fine.
- Add in the orange zest and juice and beat until everything is fully combined and you have a light fluffy frosting. 4 to 5 minutes should give you the desired results.
- I found 1 to 1 and ½ tablespoons of frosting was perfect for each cookie cover with sprinkles if using.
- Kept in an airtight tin these cookies will last for up to 5 days.
Please use room temperature ingredients for the best results.
To measure out your flour and icing sugar using cups please use the spoon and sweep method. Lightly spoon the flour / icing sugar into the cup and level it off with a knife. Do not tap the cup otherwise the flour / icing sugar will become compacted and you may use too much.