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Naughty or Nice Gingerbread Men Cookies

Christmas Movie Cookbook gingerbread men cookie recipe by Julia Rutland. Courtesy of Simon Element

Movie inspiration: Krampus (2015)

The Bavarian legend of Krampus is explored in this scary and sometimes morbidly funny film. Krampus is a horrible beast with horns, claws, and a frightening face who comes to snatch away naughty children, but even the adults are not spared in this tale. A star-studded cast including Toni Collette, Adam Scott, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, and others play a family whose fights instigate their holiday nightmare. Toys and tools become the creature’s weapons. Usually benign, gingerbread men animate from the cookie sheets to become ferocious little monsters. You can make yours naughty or nice and have fun biting their heads off!

Christmas Movie Cookbook gingerbread men cookie recipe by Julia Rutland. Courtesy of Simon Element

Naughty or Nice Gingerbread Men Cookies

Julia Rutland
Molasses gives these deliciously spiced cookies a rich flavor that's tempered by a bit of honey. You can substitute honey for the molasses and vice versa, depending on how light or dark and spicy you want your cookies.
Course Dessert
Servings 3 -1/2 dozen cookies


For the Gingerbread Men Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Royal Icing (see recipe)

For the Royal Icing

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • Food coloring, optional


Make the Gingerbread Men Cookies

  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown and granulated sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the honey, molasses, and egg.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
  • Shape the dough into two flat disks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, nonstick foil, or silicone baking mats.
  • Roll one piece of dough on a floured surface, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a 3-inch gingerbread person cutter or other shape. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, rotating pans in the oven halfway through for even baking. Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet; transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough; gently reroll dough scraps. Decorate with Royal Icing.

Make the Royal Icing (Makes 3 Cups) This general recipe will cover the cookies. For piping small detail, reduce water to three tablespoons or increase the powdered sugar to the desired consistency. For a light lemon flavor (great with gingerbread), substitute one tablespoon lemon juice for the water.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, meringue powder, water, and corn syrup, beating well. Divide the icing into bowls and tint with the desired food coloring.


The Christmas Movie Cookbook_by Julia Rutland_CoverExcerpted from The Christmas Movie Cookbook. Copyright © 2022, Julia Rutland. Reproduced by permission of Simon Element, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.
Keyword Baking, Christmas, Christmas Movie Cookbook, Cookies, Gingerbread, Holiday, Julia Rutland

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