- they have chocolate.
- they hold their shape so they make the cutest gingerbread people.
- they’re not too spicy with ginger and molasses.
- you can bake, decorate and give them as gifts.
- you can pour the ingredients into a jar and give them as gifts.
- you can bake and eat them just as they are.
You don’t have to give these cookies away! Go ahead, make a batch for yourself, you don’t even need to wait for Christmas!
Gingerbread Cookies Make Great Decorations
Another way to gift these cookies is to bake them, decorate them, put a ribbon through them and give them as decorations.
Pro Tip: Make the dough as indicated. Before baking, use a bamboo skewer or toothpick to poke a hole in each cookie. The hole will be there after baking. Decorate, add a ribbon and your gift is ready to eat or to hang.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR COOKIE MIXES IN A JAR
Careful layering of ingredients is what will make cookie mixes in a jar look the most attractive. Such a simple, tasty homemade gift. Here are a few tips:
- Wide mouth jars are most convenient for filling and pressing down ingredients.
- Use a funnel to add ingredients or place ingredients on parchment paper and use it to transfer ingredients to the jar.
- Press down on each layer of ingredients.
- If making several jars, measure and add to each jar at a time to ensure proper proportions.
- Set up an assembly line for filling to see the different layers you’ll create.
- Seal jars tightly to prevent air in the jar which can dry out the sugar.
- Cookie mixes are safe for 1-3 years, but for best quality use within 3-6 months so sugar doesn’t harden.
- You’ll get best results if you chill the dough before rolling as recommended in the instructions. Not only will it make it easier to handle the dough, but the shape of the cut outs will stay sharper.
Recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie Mix
Bake them or assemble a beautiful jar perfect for gift giving. The instructions are below.
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie Mix
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- In bottom of a 1 quart (1 litre) jar mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg and all spice.
- To create layered look carefully add each remaining ingredient separately packing down firmly after each layer: cocoa, remaining flour and brown sugar.
- Seal, decorate, label and attach baking directions.
- Also Needed:1/3 cup butter, 1/3 cup shortening, 1 egg, 1/3 cup molasses, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 oz melted chocolate
- Empty contents of jar into large bowl and stir well so no lumps remain.
- In separate bowl, beat butter and shortening. Beat in eggs then molasses and vanilla and finally the melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients in 3 batches. If needed add 1-2 Tbsp water.
- Chill dough for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Roll dough out to 1/8" inch on lightly floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.
- Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
- If you plan on hanging your gingerbread cookies use a toothpick to insert a small hole at the top of each cookie.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes until edges start to brown.
- Cool on wire rack. Let cool completely before decorating.
- Store finished cookies in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
HOW LONG DOES THIS COOKIE MIX LAST?
All the ingredients are shelf stable so there’s no problem keeping this mix around for a year or more. That said, I recommend using it within 3 to six months so the ingredients don’t dry out too much and are hard to remove from the jar.
WHAT ICING IS BEST FOR DECORATING GINGERBREAD?
For precision, fast setting icing I recommend using Royal Icing like I used to decorate these Soccer Cookies. I follow the recipe and advice from Crouton Crackerjacks. The link is no longer active, but here’s the recipe.
Royal Icing – by Crouton Crackerjacks
3 cups powdered sugar
2 egg whites (use pasteurized egg whites in carton to avoid risks associated with raw eggs)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
water as needed to reach the desired count
To determine the consistency of the icing I used the counting trick.
Flooding Icing – I used a 5 to 10 count icing
Outlining Icing – I used a 12 to 15 count icing
By 5 to 10 count icing, I mean, how long does it take for a ribbon or line of icing to recede and disappear when it’s drizzled on top of a bowl of icing. The thinner the icing the shorter it takes.
Don’t worry about the exact count, it’s just a point of reference and comparison. Do what works for you! Practice and test out various consistencies. You can always adjust with more water or more icing sugar. Even if you’ve already filled the bag, just squeeze it back into a bowl and adjust as needed.
Fill your piping bag and tip of choice. I like #1 or #3 (small and medium.) For more icing tips click to the Soccer Cookies.
If you just want to get the job done, just mix powdered sugar with milk until you have the desired consistency. This is perfect when the kids are helping and there are a lot of gum drops, Smarties, M&Ms or sprinkles involved!
Decorating the jar is easier than icing the cookies! Cut a square piece of holiday fabric, pliable wrapping paper or burlap. Tie a string or ribbon around the top and you’re pretty much done! Adding a gingerbread person cookie cutter is a cute touch. And don’t forget to include the instructions.
You can print instruction labels by clicking on this PDF of Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie Mix Labels. I recommend you print them on card stock or heavy paper for added durability. Or, you could print on regular paper and glue to card stock. For other ideas or some blank Christmas tag labels check out my Free Resources section.
More Gifts from the Kitchen
Interested in other Gifts from the Kitchen? Check these out:
Who are you thinking of sharing some cookie mix with? Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @getgettys and Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.
Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.