Mini Gingerbread Men Cookies
Mini Gingerbread Men Cookies are a fantastic way to have fun in the kitchen with the kids! They are made with the usual set of spices and an extra orange touch!
These Mini Gingerbread Men Cookies are the ultimate Christmas bites to make with kids! Although, beware…they are highly addictive! The mini size helps to contain the amount of sugar your kids consume. I don’t know about you, but after years of trying to decorate normal-sized gingerbread men’s cookies, I could never make them look as lovely as the pictures online. They always turn out less presentable but very devourable.
The kids will find the smaller cookies easier to decorate and more appealing. I use basic icing and Christmas-colored sprinkles for these, but if you have other sprinkles at home, go ahead and use whatever you’ve got! Or, if you don’t want to bother with the sprinkles, dip them in coloured icing.
In our family, every year on a boring Sunday before Christmas, we have the tradition of making these. I use my kids’ Play-Doh little Gingerbread man cutter to make the small ones. They are about 5 cm high, a perfect bite for smaller kids and parents on a diet. You could also make the standard, bigger version, but these should be cooked in a different batch. If you also do the bigger version, keep them in the oven for 3 minutes longer.
For me, Christmas smells like cinnamon and orange. As such, I make this dough slightly different by adding a touch of orange flavour and omitting the molasses or honey. I use spices that I can easily find in the store—the most important being ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you dig other spices like anis, cloves and five-spice, add them to the mix. I think the main ones work just fine.
As a side note, spices contain lovely antioxidants and much more. Check out this link to learn about the health benefits of each spice!
How long do ground spices last?
Most spices weaken with time. They don’t go bad, per se, but they will lose their flavour, colour and potency over time. The ground spices used in this recipe have been in the pantry for about 2-3 years. That said, ginger can last 3-4 years. So, if you haven’t already, get your spices to make tasty cookies!
The kids will love helping out every step of the way to make these Mini Gingerbread Men Cookies. They can assist in pouring the ingredients into the mixer, cutting the cookies, and, the most fun, decorating them! Keep an eye on them, though…my four-year-old tended to overdo the sprinkles. This poor gingerbread man was completely covered. Since the main idea behind making mini cookies is to reduce sugar, go easy on the sprinkles!
When you make the icing, add powdered sugar to a small bowl, incorporate one tablespoon of milk at a time (it can go up to 3-4 tablespoons) and mix with a whisk until smooth. I added some food colouring to mine, but it wasn’t necessary since they got covered in sprinkles. But, if you can make a few icings with simple colours like red, green and white, even better!
Also, make sure the cookies have been cooled for at least 5-10 minutes before decorating them. You wouldn’t want the gingerbread men to lose an arm, leg or even worse, ahead!
Gingerbread men are dry cookies. They will keep well on the counter in a dark container for 2-3 weeks. Think metallic tins, which can be easily found around Christmas time. Also, if you think it’s too much dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- small 5cm (2 inches) gingerbread men cookie cutter or Play-Doh cutter of 5cm
- 100 g unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- 75 g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 200 g flour
- 60 ml orange juice or water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 130 g powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- food colors of your choice
- Start by mixing the butter and sugar in a mixer.
- Add the egg and the rest of the ingredients. Mix until smooth.
- Cover the dough in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Add a bit of flour on a clean surface and the dough, and roll the dough with a rolling pin until 2mm thick.
- Cut little gingerbread men with the 5cm cookie cutter. Put them on a parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Cook in the oven in many batches (about four batches) for 5 minutes at 180°C (350F°).
- Take cookies out of the oven and gently move them to a cooling rack. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes before decorating.
- Make the icing by mixing the powdered sugar and milk.
- Add two drops of colouring of your choice, and move around with a wooden stick.
- Add the sprinkles to a small pot.
- Decorate the cookies with icing and sprinkles (kid's job).