“NO, No…not the buttons. Not my gumdrop buttons!!!”
Shrek, Lord Farquad interrogates the Gingerbread Man

 A favorite character in Shrek and longtime holiday confection, gingerbread men are as Christmas as eggnog and winter-donned carolers. I remember as a kid making gingerbread cookies every Christmas. The best part was eating the raw ginger-spiced batter and then waiting patiently for the cookies to cool so I could ice them. Forget the raisin for buttons. Mom let me bust out every colored sprinkle, chocolate chip, mini-marshmallow, colored sugars and red hot candy to use for three little buttons on each cooled cookie. The small, glass Pyrex bowls filled the kitchen table with colors matching all the primary and secondary color wheels. Most of the candy decorations ended up in my mouth or on the white ceramic-tiled floor. I’m not even sure how much I liked the gingerbread cookies, as much as I liked tasting all the candies used for decorating the holiday confection men and women. In truth, that was probably why I asked mom to make them!

Gingerbread Cookies



3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

2/3 c. molasses

1 large egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Plenty of candies and sprinkles, or raisins/craisins



  1. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and molasses until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, spices, baking soda, and salt until combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until dough just comes together. (Do not overmix!)
  3. Divide dough in half and create two discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place one disc of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll until 1/4″ thick. Cut out gingerbread men with a 3″ wide cutter and transfer to baking sheets.
  5. Bake until slightly puffed and set, 9 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your cookie cutters. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Repeat with remaining disc of dough. Decorate with sugar cookies icing (https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a23031687/best-sugar-cookie-icing-recipe/) and sprinkles as desired.

Aimee Serafin, editor of the Augusta Family Magazine.