Great Oak Manor Gingerbread Cookies

The holiday season will be here in a flurry of Halloween decorations, turkey and pumpkin decor, and then finally, a burst of red and green. One of our favorite parts of the holidays is the food! (We are a bed & breakfast, after all.) Keep reading to try out a recipe for our gingerbread cookies that will fill your home with the seasonal scents of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and fill your bellies with sugary goodness.

If you do try out these this recipe, we’d love to see photos on Facebook or Twitter, so feel free to share them with us! And of course, if you’d like to try out some of our dishes firsthand, grab your room at the Manor and get ready for a fantastic Great Oak getaway.

Happy almost-holidays!

The foundation:
1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 orange, zested
The dry ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
The wet ingredients:
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 lemon, juiced
Easy Orange Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange liqueur
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add the butter, sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and lemon juice.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5. When the butter and sugar are integrated, lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture and when blended, remove the bowl from the machine.

6. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press the first half of the dough in between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with the second half. (This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.)

7. Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, making as few scraps as possible. Use a metal spatula to gently transfer them, cookie by cookie, (the cookies should be similar size) to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough and transfer them to another baking sheet.

**A note about crowding the tray(s): these particular cookies can spread a little. Leave room between the cookies. Better to use 3 baking sheets with fewer cookies than to crowd them on 2 trays.**

8. Bake until brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.

9. In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients and whisk together to combine. (If too thick in consistency, add a touch more orange juice or water to thin out.)

10. Use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip to pipe the frosting between 2 of the gingerbread cookies. Press the 2 cookies halves gently together.

Eat and enjoy!