The Gingerbread men's official shape can be traced back to the 1800s when Elizabeth I of England presented them to her valuable guests. The Gingerbread house came not long after in the 16th century in Germany, where it soon became part of the Christmas tradition. Over 450 Million Gingerbread men are made each year. We hope you enjoy making your own gingerbread men this holiday season.
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- .5 tsp salt
- 4-5 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- and more for flouring
- 3 large egg whites
- 2.5 cups sifted confectioners sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Food coloring optional
- With an electric mixer, cream the shortening and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add molasses, vinegar, and egg. Beat on high until blended thoroughly
- In a separate bowl, sift together ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and 4 cups of flour.
- Slowly add flour mixture into sugar mixture until a firm, manageable dough forms. Adding more flour as needed.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until firm, around 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 F, lightly spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
- Flour your workspace and lightly flour your rolling pin. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters or a knife.
- Place the cookies one inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 5-6 min.
- Let cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack for cooling. Let the cookies cool completely before icing.
- Beat the egg whites and 1/3 cup of confectioner's sugar with a whisk attachment on your mixer.
- Add another 1/3 cup of sugar and cream of tartar for roughly 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining sugar and beat until smooth and thick.
- Optional: Separate icing evenly into separate bowls and add desired food coloring. Mix well.
- Ice the cooled cookies with royal icing