Making Memories with Gingerbread Cookies

One of our December holiday traditions is Miles loves to make and put together a basket of homemade cookies for relatives and friends. This year we are trying this Moravian Christmas Cookie which is a thin Gingerbread.

Our previous Gingerbread recipe made a thick cookie that had a strong Molasses flavor. These cookies are lighter and crisper, with a nice gingersnap feeling when rolled out thinly. This recipe does call for them to be refrigerated before being cut and baked.

This is a great cookie for dipping into hot chocolate, mulled cider or eggnog. 

Moravian Gingersnap Gingerbread Cookie


  • ½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup molasses
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, soda, salt and all the spices.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat the molasses just to the boiling point but do not boil. This doesn’t take very long so watch it.
  3. Stir in the shortening until perfectly smooth. Cool slightly.
  4. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer or use a hand mixer to beat in the sugar mixture. Add a bit of the flour, stirring to combine. As soon as it starts to hold together in a sticky dough, scoop it out onto the well-floured counter. Your bench flour in this step is part of the 4 cups total flour.
  5. Knead in the flour with your hands until the dough holds together. I used about 3 ½ cups of flour. The dough will become very stiff and that is what you want!
  6. Roll into a ball and refrigerate until firm. I refrigerated it overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 375° and line several baking sheets with parchment.
  8. Cut off a portion of the dough and roll paper-thin on a well floured surface. Cut into 2 inch circles. A small offset spatula or pancake flipper works well for lifting the delicate cookies off the counter. Brush off any excess flour and place on lined baking sheet. They don’t spread at all, so can be baked close together.
  9. Bake 4 minutes; rotate tray; bake 2 more; cool on baking sheet; stack and repeat.
  10. Store in an airtight container. Stored properly, they will keep for weeks. Or try refrigerating the dough and only use as much as needed at a time.

Note: Recipe from The American Heritage Cookbook, 1964 edition.

We found this recipe at American Heritage Cooking where she has some tips on how to roll out the dough to keep it thin but tasty.

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