When I was a little girl, my mom made these cookies every year at Christmastime. The kitchen smelled heavenly, and I loved helping her decorate the gingerbread people with royal icing, cinnamon candies and whatever else we had on hand. 



¾ cup butter, softened 
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
¾ cup molasses
1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, blend butter, brown sugar and molasses until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in egg and vanilla. 

In a medium bowl, sift together all dry ingredients – flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. 

Blend sifted mixture to the butter mixture at a low speed until just combined. Do not overbeat.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2-3 hours until firm.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the dough in half, rolling out one half on a floured cutting board or surface until ¼ inch thick. Use gingerbread people cookie cutters to cut shapes. Place on parchment lined sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 9 minutes or until slightly puffed and shaped. Allow to cool before removing from cookie baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining dough until finished.

Royal Icing:

3 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup milk

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together with a spoon until combined. Divide icing if using different colors. Enjoy!