Anna Olson’s Gingerbread Cookies



10 min


2 dozen

* PLUS Refrigeration Time: 120 minutes, Baking Time: 6 minutes


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


  • Cream shortening or butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in molasses and grated ginger until evenly blended. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and add to molasses mixture, stirring just until dough comes together. Shape dough into 2 disks and chill for at least 2 hours before rolling.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk to just over ¹?8 inch (3 mm) thick. Cut out desired shapes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until edges are firm to touch. Allow to cool completely.

This dough freezes very well, as do the baked gingerbread cookies, so get ahead on your holiday baking by making a few batches now. The recipe is from Anna Olson’s book Another Cup of Sugar. This recipe has not been tested by the Chatelaine Test Kitchen.


* This recipe calls for blackstrap molasses, normally used in bread recipes. It has a deep, dark colour and a slightly stronger flavour. It makes for some really good-looking gingerbread men. * For everyday eating I like to use butter in this recipe, but for gingerbread houses or ornaments, I use vegetable shortening. * If you’re using cookies as decoration, put a small hole where a string will go to tie it after cutting out your shapes. * For icing (see Iced Gingerbread Cookies, page 172 of the above-referenced book), play with the consistency by adding a touch more icing sugar or water. Using disposable piping bags makes for easy clean-up, and you don’t even need to buy piping tips – just snip the end off the piping bag.