Ginger's Breadboys bases its gingerbread cookie mix recipe on a recipe that dates from the 1950s and more than likely well before. The recipe has no attribution probably because it has been handed down from one generation to the next and no one really knows who came up with it. But it specifically calls for shortening and Crisco was the most popular brand of that era. We love how Ginger's Breadboys cookies bake and taste using Crisco. And all Crisco shortening products now have 0g trans fat per serving.
While we understand that some of you may prefer butter to shortening, a Crisco gingerbread cookie will be higher and lighter than a butter cookie which will be flatter and crispier. However, if you are conscious not to roll out your gingerbread dough too thinly, this shouldn't be a problem when baking with butter.
When substituting butter for shortening when baking, it is important to remember that butter is only 80% solid. With the additional liquid, we need to adjust the recipe when using butter. See our blog post for more information on baking with butter or shortening.)
We test baked a batch of gingerbread cookies with butter in the summer of 2019 and they turned out awesome. The dough was fabulous as well. It felt a bit like fudge after resting in the refrigerator overnight and was a bit tackier than that with shortening. But we used waxed paper with a slight dusting of flour to roll it out with no problems. While they appeared to bake up quickly, we needed the full 9 minutes to fully bake. And as with the original recipe, we made 39 cookies.
Use a cup of salted butter (2 sticks) and adjust the liquid in the recipe (remember butter is 20% liquid). Use only 3/4 cup of unsulphured molasses instead of a cup and 5 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar instead of 2 tablespoons. We used a large/jumbo egg too. (Not sure that makes a huge difference but sharing nonetheless.)
Our mix is made and packaged exclusively for Ginger's Breadboys by Whisked by Jenna - a DC metropolitan, woman-owned bakery and small batch co-packer. Using baker's flour and a beautiful cinnamon, this aromatic gingerbread mix makes a very forgiving dough that is easy to work with and bakes a delicious cookie every time. We use Sir Galahad Artisan Flour from King Arthur - never bleached and never bromated and no preservatives.
Be sure to visit our page with the slideshow videos for how to make the Ginger's Breadboys gingerbread cookie and download the recipe and instruction card that comes with the cookie kit if you're missing yours.
Want to make another batch of delicious gingerbread cookies? Our Make Another Batch gingerbread cookie kit is available to replace all the items used with the original kit.
Need just gingerbread cookie mix? In 2023 we will begin offering our gingerbread cookie mix for individual sale.
Recipe for Classic Gingerbread Cookies
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Cream 1 cup shortening and 1 cup granulated sugar. Add 1 large egg. Blend in 1 cup unsulphured molasses. Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Slowly add Ginger’s Breadboys gingerbread cookie mix. Switch to mixer’s dough hook if you have one (optional). Blend only until flour mixture is incorporated.
Empty dough onto wax paper sheet and knead lightly to form a block. Wrap in wax paper and place in gallon-size plastic food storage bag. Chill for 3 hours—or overnight—in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking pan with parchment paper. Flour a cool surface—not wood—and rolling pin. Countertops or marble pastry board works well. Roll baseball-size amount of dough to ¹/ inch thick. (If dough sticks to rolling pin, lightly flour and place wax paper over dough to roll out.) Cut with 5‑inch gingerbread boy cookie cutter. Remove excess dough from around cutouts. Move cookies to pan on floured spatula. Leave at least ½ inch between cookies. For eyes, nose, and 3 buttons, press cinnamon imperials into cookies before baking (optional).
Bake 8–9 minutes until cookies are light brown and pillowy. (Bake time estimate is for large 5-inch cookie. Bake less if using smaller cookie cutter.) Ovens vary—if cinnamon imperials burst when baking, oven is too hot, or bake time is too long. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan ~10 minutes. Refrigerate or store in cool area until ready to decorate. Decorate when completely cool with royal icing. Makes ~39 5‑inch gingerbread boy cookies.