The holiday season isn’t complete without gingerbread cookies and these oversized, soft, generously spiced, Mickey Mouse Gingerbread Men are great to eat and to give for presents! A Disneyland-inspired treat.
For the cookies:
- 4 cups (480 g) flour
- ¾ cup packed (5 ¼ ounces, 160 g) light brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
For the cookies:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. With the paddle attachment, mix on the lowest setting, adding in the butter pieces until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Next, mix in each egg until incorporated. Then pour in the molasses and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
- Then, mix in arrowroot powder until incorporated.
- If baking sheets of dough first and then cutting, roll out dough into desired small sections about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick, between two sheets of parchment. Chill for 30 minutes. If cutting and then baking, divide dough in half and roll out between two sheets of parchment. Transfer to baking sheets and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then remove one pan at a time, peel the top layer of parchment off, cut out shapes, transfer to a new sheet of parchment and refrigerate for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°f, if baking whole sheets of dough: remove top sheet of parchment from the dough, and then bake sheets of dough for 14 minutes. If baking pre-cut shapes, place sheet pan directly from refrigerator to oven and bake 12-14 minutes.
- Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then move the parchment off the cookie sheet and begin cutting out the shapes. Cool cookies to room temperature before beginning to decorate.
- Make the sugar glaze first by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring continually until all the sugar crystals have dissolved.
- Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and then apply a light coating of the liquid to the cookies using a pastry brush. Set aside cookies.
- Melt 2/3 cup of the white candy melts directly in the pastry bag for 30 seconds, knead the bag slightly and microwave in short bursts of 15-20 seconds until fully melted.
- Cut a small amount of the tip off the bag and make sure the candy melts is flowing freely by squeezing out a small amount first.
- Then, outline the cookies with the white candy melts, including hems (see photos).
- Continue with the other candy melts to complete the design.
- light cocoa for eyes, nose, and mouth
- pink plus 2 tablespoons (or more) of the white melts for the light pink cheeks
- red for the bow tie
- green plus a tablespoon of white candy melts for the buttons
- Decorations will fully harden in about an hour. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week!
- To create the Mickey shape without a cutter, combine a gingerbread man cutter and a small circle cutter proportionate to the head for the ears. Slightly overlap the ears and head to secure when baked.
- The dough is very soft and will warm considerably while working with it. Always chill dough if it starts to feel warm so that it is easier to manipulate.
- If cutting and then baking, freeze rolled out cookie dough for 30 minutes and then cut shapes out immediately, using a metal spatula or bench scraper to help gently lift dough up if needed. Refrigerate cookie shapes after cutting for an additional 15 minutes before baking.
- The arrowroot powder helps keep the shape and reduces the cookies from spreading. It also reduces the puffiness of the cookie.
- To reduce scraps if baking and then cutting, lay out cutter and trace shapes on parchment as close together as possible, leaving a small amount of space for spreading. Flip the parchment over and roll out dough to that shape. Dough should be around 1/4″. Thicker dough will need more baking time.
- Sugar glaze will harden and become less tacky quicker if cookies are refrigerated after glazing.
- Move quickly while using the candy melts as they harden fast.
- To smooth out bumps in the chocolate, or to round out and smooth shapes, a scribe or a toothpick.
- Extra melted candy melts can be left to harden and stored in a cool, dry place, and melted again for another use.
Keywords: treat, cookies, gingerbread, Mickey Mouse, holiday