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Grandma Maudes Big Fat Gingerbread Cookies

Grandma Maude's Great Big Soft Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe has been in my family for generations. It is a big fat soft, not crackly, cookie that is truly a cookie-bread as it is not at all sweet without the icing.
Course Cookie
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Valerie Lugonja (Maude Hecht)


Ingredients for the cookie:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup shortening ( I use butter)
  • 1 cup molasses (I use the dark "Old Fashioned" molasses, not the "Fancy")
  • 1 cup sour milk (sour it with a Tbsp. vinegar)
  • add 2t soda to sour milk just before adding to batter
  • add 1t soda into vinegar just before adding to batter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (you may need an extra one if you need to sour your own milk by adding a tablespoon of vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon , cloves, and ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (but I added a teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 cups flour

Ingredients for the Icing:

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • zest of one or two oranges
  • enough orange juice to mix into a fondant or play dough type consistency


Instructions for the cookie:

  1. Cream shortening and sugar
  2. Add molasses and egg, and continue to cream mixture
  3. Add two teaspoons of soda to the sour milk
  4. Add one teaspoon of soda to the tablespoon of vinegar
  5. Add milk, vinegar, spices, and salt to the molasses and egg mixture
  6. Move the batter into a bigger bowl, if necessary and fold in the flour
  7. Refrigerate batter one hour, or over night to enable a rolling consistency
  8. Remove dough from refrigerator and pre-heat your oven to 350 F
  9. Roll dough between two pieces of very lightly floured parchment paper
  10. Cut into shapes and carefully move each shape onto a parchment covered cookie sheet
  11. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the bottom is light brown and the cookies are puffy on top (the cooking time will depend upon how thick you have cut them)
  12. For really big, fat gingerbread men, leave dough about 1/2 inch thick (much thinner for other cookies) and bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
  13. Ice with Orange Butter Icing

Instructions for the icing:

  1. Mix all of the above ingredients until well combined and the consistency of fondant or play dough
  2. Chill for 15 minutes
  3. Roll some thinly onto parchment paper, and refrigerate again for 10 to 20 minutes
  4. Cut into the same shape as the cookie, lay onto the cookie (you may need to brush the cookie with a bit of sugar water for the icing to adhere (it will depend upon the temperature in the room)
  5. Decorate the layer of icing on the cookie

Instructions for the Thermomix:

Instructions for the cookie:

  1. Scale sugar and room temperature shortening into the TM bowl; insert butterfly and cream for 2 minutes at speed 3-4 (shortening must be room temperature or the butterfly may be damaged)
  2. Scale molasses into TM bowl and add the egg; continue to cream mixture or 30 seconds at speed 3-4
  3. Add two teaspoons of soda to the sour milk
  4. Add one teaspoon of soda to the tablespoon of vinegar
  5. Add milk, vinegar, spices, and salt to the molasses and egg mixture in the TM bowl; combine for 10 seconds at speed 2-3
  6. Remove the butterfly; clean all ingredients off of it and place into the TM bowl
  7. Scale in 4 cups of the flour; combine slowly from speed 0-7, until just combined
  8. Move the batter into a bigger bowl to knead in the remaining flour
  9. Continue with the recipe above at number 7

Recipe Notes

I have actually done a taste test using all three kinds of molasses and the very best flavour, colour and texture was developed by using the darkest and most bitter molasses.