Soft, Chewy Gingerbread Boys – My Family

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This traditional Christmas cookie recipe makes soft, chewy, perfectly flavored Gingerbread Boys every time! They will soon become your family’s favorite too! Don’t forget the raisins!


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • Raisins for Decoration
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • whole milk or heavy cream as needed, approximately ¼ – ½ cup


  1. Sift together flour and spices. Set aside.
  2. Thoroughly cream butter, sugar, and salt. Stir in egg, molasses and vinegar; beat well.
  3. Stir flour into butter mixture. It is easiest to add the flour in several additions, scraping down the bowl between each one.
  4. Form dough into two balls and chill wrapped in plastic or in a covered mixing bowl over night or at least 5 hours. I have found that 3 hours of chilling time is okay but the dough will not be as easy to roll out without sticking. Overnight will make the rolling and cutting process a breeze!
  5. Preheat oven to 375° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll one ball out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters and gently place cookies 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
  7. Decorate with raisins.
  8. Bake large gingerbread boys (~5” tall) 6 minutes in preheated oven; bake medium cookies (3-4” tall) 5 minutes; bake small to medium cookies (2-3” tall) 4 minutes but watch them because they could easily over bake; and bake the cute little 1” cookies like my angels only 3 minutes.
  9. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store for up to two weeks in a sealed plastic bag or a tightly closed container.
  11. Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir with a spatula to combine. Continue to add milk several teaspoons at a time until the icing is thickened but still runny enough to drizzle off your spatula.
  12. Spoon icing into a piping bag fitted with a small circle tip or into a plastic baggie with one corner cut off into a tiny hole. Ice as desired.
  13. Note: I like to add more vanilla for flavor but it does tint the icing so it will not be a pure white. You may add less vanilla if you desire a snow-white icing. If you add too much vanilla just sift more powdered sugar into the bowl and add a little bit more milk. Don’t stress too much about the ratios. It will taste sweet no matter what!
  14. If icing thickens too much while standing, add more milk to bring it back to the correct consistency. This icing is very hard to mess up, so no worries!

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