Gingerbread Cookies with Rum-Butter Glaze
Gingerbread Cookies with Rum-butter Glaze are the quintessential holiday cookie. Soft and full of all the warming spices, these cookies bring all the Nutcracker vibes. Plus, a rummy, buttery glaze.
Want to make them pretty? Use cookie stamps.
We all have a drawer in our kitchen crammed with various cookie cutters. They are useful for cutting shapes into rolled-out cookie or pie dough. And don't tell, but I may have used them once or twice with Play-Doh.
Cookie stamps, however, don’t cut out cookies. They imprint them with a design. Stamps of this type date back several centuries in Scandinavia where they are used to imprint cookies for special occasions.
Old-school cookie stamps are carved out of wood or made of clay. The stamp, which is basically bas relief, is pressed into the dough. It leaves behind a pretty design, making the cookies edible works of art.
Today, cookie stamps are wood or clay, but most often I see them made of metal. I bought my American-made ones on Amazon. And the dough into which I press them?
Gingerbread with molasses.
Slow as molasses! My dad used to say that phrase from time to time when I was growing up and I’m sure he wasn’t talking about me. He loved the taste of molasses and his favorite was blackstrap.
Molasses comes from sugar cane juice. Boiled once, twice, and three times, the juice concentrates and produces different grades and strengths of molasses. Blackstrap is the result of three go-rounds and is the darkest variety with a strong flavor.
This oozy syrup is an ingredient in candies, cookies, and other baked goods. The flavor adds complexity to the pretty cookies featured here.
- Choose your strength of molasses flavor. I like mild molasses. Are you a blackstrap person? You’ll never know until you try it.
- Be sure to chill your dough for several hours or overnight. I found that cold dough was best for making a deep imprint with the cookie stamp. I also chilled the imprinted cookies for 30 minutes prior to baking so the design would not be lost when the cookies bake and puff up.
- Don’t want rum in the glaze? How sad. You can replace it with an equal amount of lemon juice, but that is kind of lame. Use the rum.
Many thanks to Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh for their soft gingerbread tiles with rum butter glaze recipe.Print
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- ⅓ packed cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup mild molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for pressing
- 1 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup confectioners' sugar
- ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp butter, melted and warm
- 1 tbsp dark rum (or lemon juice)
- 1 tsp warm water
- Make the cookies by beating together the softened butter and sugar until fluffy in the bowl of a stand mixer (using the paddle attachment). Add the molasses and egg then beat to fully combine.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and black pepper together to fully incorporate all the dry ingredients. Add about half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix together on low speed. Once it is mixed, add the other half of the flour and mix again until the dough is all one color.
- Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal size pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Lightly flour a smooth surface as well as the dough balls. Using a cookie stamp, firmly press straight down on the dough ball until the dough is around ¼-inch thick. Carefully remove the pressed dough from the stamp and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all the dough balls. Leave 2 inches between the stamped cookies on the sheet.
- At this point, I like to place the tray of stamped cookies in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up the dough again. You can bake them straight away if you want, but remember the cookies will slightly puff up when baked and the design won’t be as crisp. A chilled dough helps the design to stay sharp.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Whisk in the melted butter, rum, and water until combined. The glaze will thicken as it sets so you may need to add a little more water to loosen it before brushing.
- Once the cookies come out of the oven, let them cool for 5 minutes before brushing on the glaze. The cookies should still be warm when the glaze is applied. Cool on a wire rack and try not to eat all of them in one sitting. Makes 12 cookies.
Keywords: gingerbread cookies with rum-butter glaze