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Last Updated on October 21, 2020 by Chenée Lewis
So far this year I’ve done oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, and shortbread cookies. But (arguably) none of those are more fit for the holidays than gingerbread! I recently had some traditional german gingerbread at the Chicago Christkindlmarkt, and I loved the soft texture and the bold spices! I knew I had to try it myself! And so the recipe for these soft stout gingerbread cookies was born.
The inspiration for this soft gingerbread cookies recipe is Claudia Fleming’s Stout Gingerbread, which adds the full-bodied flavor of stout to a gingerbread loaf with plenty of spices. I love that combination! The molasses, spices, and rich, soft texture of these cookies were absolutely perfect! But you may know — I’m always looking for an excuse to use brown butter, so I added a brown butter cream cheese buttercream frosting, and I regret nothing!
Here’s what you’ll need to make these perfectly soft gingerbread cookies:
- all-purpose flour – should be measured using the scoop and level method, or even better, with a food scale — you’ll need 352 grams.
- baking soda – gives these cookies a nice lift, reacting to the acidity of the molasses.
- ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and black pepper – I told you these cookies had plenty of spices! You can feel free to omit the black pepper or cayenne if you want to tone down the spiciness, but I wouldn’t recommend it!
- salted butter – it should be softened to room temperature.
- brown sugar – you can use light brown sugar, or dark brown sugar for a little extra flavor.
- egg – should be room temperature.
- stout beer – I used Guiness, but you can use your favorite stout or any full-bodied beer for this recipe
- dark molasses – this is key! Gives these soft stout gingerbread cookies the perfect rich sweetness that gingerbread is known for. And it helps them to stay soft for days!
- white sugar – to roll the cookies in. This adds a little sweetness and helps to keep them from spreading too much.
And for the brown butter cream cheese frosting, you’ll need:
- salted butter – softened to room temperature
- cream cheese – softened to room temperature
- powdered sugar
- pure vanilla extract
For this recipe, you will need either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, as well as the typical cookie go-tos: a large baking sheet, a silicone baking mat, and a cooling rack!
If you’re looking for more Christmas cookie goodness, I’ve got a few recipes I think you’ll like! Definitely check out my Sparkling Peppermint Sugar Cookies with White Chocolate Ganache, an easy soft sugar cookie recipe that is perfect for the holidays!
You’ll also love my Slice-and-Bake Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies, a classic slice and bake shortbread recipe with bright orange zest and chopped bittersweet chocolate. So buttery and full of flavor!
Equipment you may need
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour - (352g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch cardamom
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter - softened
- 1 cup brown sugar - packed
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons stout beer (see note)
- 1/3 cup dark molasses
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, ground ginger, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, cayenne, black pepper, cardamom and salt. Set aside.
- Using mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, stout and molasses, mixing well after each addition. Slowly blend flour mixture into butter mixture until incorporated; scraping down bowl and beaters.
- Shape dough into one-inch balls and place on parchment-covered baking sheets 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes. After 5 minutes move to wire racks.
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cook butter in a light-colored sauté pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown.
- Immediately remove from heat and pour into a bowl, scraping out brown bits with it. Cover and chill 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.
- Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
- Frost cookies generously and allow to set slightly. Enjoy!
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