Recipe: Gingerbread Grannies


I guess now that the winter holiday season is over, nobody is really looking for gingerbread-cookie recipes. But what if your cookies are actually super fashionable gingerbread grannies in strapless gowns? Seems like they’d make the perfect treat for an Oscar-viewing party. Not that the Oscars are worth watching.

A bunch of us gals congregated at my place before the new year for a baking-and-movie night. Which sort of ended up being us making rice-crispy treats, eating froyo/ice cream, half-watching the first half of Rent (my version of a Christmas movie) and making gingerbread cookie dough. It took too long for the dough to firm up in the fridge, so everybody fell asleep/went home, and I was left with the daunting task of rolling out the dough and executing the wardrobe styling. Blue icing is, perhaps, not the most appetizing, it sure is on trend, whether it’s in the form of a floor-length frock or the swoosh in a squirrel’s tail. Excuse the ugly bears.

Eggs normally feature in most royal icing recipes, but since making cookies is such an ordeal, I ended up using icing sugar and water, tinted with a couple of drops of food colouring. I don’t have a specific recipe but you just add very little water to a mound of icing sugar until it reaches your desired consistency, and work fast because it hardens quickly.


  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar (white or brown)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) milk
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) flour
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda



  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and molasses, then add egg. Add milk and vanilla while continuing to beat.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, spices and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Gather dough into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C). On a floured surface, roll out dough 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick and cut with your choice of cookie cutters.
  4. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. Decorate with colourful icing and sprinkles. Store cookies in a sealed container in a dry place.



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