Posted by: Patty | December 13, 2009

Gingerbread Men

Recently tragedy struck my cookbook collection: the 8 x 11 spiral bound notebook full of my mother’s recipes and my notes taken over 30 years disappeared. When I was married (one million years ago) my mother hand-wrote a collection of recipes and advice. Somehow,in November when we moved a book shelf  from the TV room to a bedroom the notebook vanished. Fortunately I had copied many recipes to my computer’s recipe file. But many old time recipes are lost. Several times a week I wander through the house, looking in drawers and shelves, hoping to find the book. But I fear it is really gone.

One recipe in the notebook that I have been using since the early 1980’s is Gingerbread Men from Gourmet Magazine. I tried searching the internet and Epicurious and could not find this recipe on-line. Luckily I had copied this to my computer. So, here is the BEST gingerbread cookie dough I have ever made. No pictures today. Tomorrow my sister and I will be baking cookies all day long and by the afternoon we’ll have some cookies to photograph.


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 5 cups flour, all purpose
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp water
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Cream butter, add sugar and beat until fluffy.
    Beat in egg, molasses and vinegar.
    Sift together dry ingredients and add slowly to creamed mixture.
    Divid dough into 4 pieces, dust with flour and wrap in plastic wrap.
    Chill 3 hours.
    Roll out 1/4″ thick and cut with cookie cutters.
    Bake at 375* for 6 – 8 minutes or until no imprint remains when touched.
    Cool, then ice.
    Icing: beat egg whites with water, tartar and salt until frothy. Add 4X sugar slowly and then beat until it holds stiff peaks. Add food coloring if desired.

Baking cookies with my sister is a favorite December activity. Tomorrow we will have some of the results. Enjoy!

Cheers, Patty



  1. Patty – was so glad to read your post… we somehow misplaced my mother’s copy of 1982’s Gourmet Magazine that included this recipe. Frantically, we’ve been searching online for the recipe. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My sister and I also love baking these Gingerbread every December. Happy Baking!

    • Meghan, I’m glad you found my post. We now add 1 tablespoon of cocoa to the flour for a little more flavor. Enjoy your holiday baking.

  2. Thanks for the recipe. Now that we’ve had a dozen kids here frosting cookies, I’ll make some of these to use up the extra frosting. I’m so sad to hear about the lost notebook– hoping for a middle of the night epiphany that will give you one last, successful place to look.

  3. Can’t wait to see the cookies! I would be tearing the house apart looking for the book!!

  4. Can’t wait to see your creations. Hope to see a few gingerbread women, dogs, cats …
    Guess who got his own supersized Apple today. Mike couldn’t resist the urge any longer. He had total monitor envy whenever he looked at my screen. You like apples and Apples.

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